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Congress to raise ‘Pakistan interference’ remark in Parliament

Congress sources said on Monday that they would raise ‘Pakistan-interference-in-Gujarat-polls’ remark in both houses of Parliament, as the Winter Session resumes after the weekend.During the last phase of electioneering in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, quoting media reports, on December 10, said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former Army General Deepak Kapoor had secretly discussed Gujarat elections with ex-Pakistani diplomats at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence in Delhi.The allegation has sparked a political furore.Congress, since then, has been demanding an apology from the prime minister.Last week, on the first day of the session, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue in Rajya Sabha.

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Assembly Elections 2017: Congress leader Ashok Gehlot says results depict victory for Rahul Gandhi’s campaign

As the BJP appears to be on its way to retain power in Gujarat, senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot today said he saw the results as a “victory” for the party due to the response its chief Rahul Gandhi’s campaign got from the people.Gehlot, the Congress election in-charge for Gujarat, said Gandhi ran a nice campaign in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trends from 181 seats in the state, gave the BJP a lead in over a 107 seats while the Congress was following with 65.The simple majority mark in the 182-member Assembly is 92. The Congress, however, appears to be on its way to improve its 2012 tally.”The way the Congress campaigned and the way Rahul Gandhi did bus trips, we put up a very nice campaign. Whatever the results, the country will see this as the Congress’ victory,” Gehlot said.”Through the campaigning and manifesto, we have been successful in reflecting the feelings of the people of Gujarat and we believe we have been successful in that,” he said.To a question, Gehlot said the saffron party tried to turn the direction of the campaign by raising the ‘son of the soil’ issue. “The BJP tried to turn the campaign in another direction by its ‘son of the soil’ comments and saying that he (Modi) is a prime minister from Gujarat. We have given a very nice message to the people of Gujarat,” he said.He said it is not the culture of the Congress to make such comments.”Rahulji (Gandhi) had said that Congress people will not make such commments against the prime minister. The manner in which the prime minister made comments against Manmohan Singhji, Soniaji and Rahulji, we did not want to respond to them in the same language,” he said.

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Watch: PM Modi flashes victory sign as BJP gets unassailable lead in Gujarat

As the trends show BJP getting solid lead in Gujarat Assembly Elections results, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen jubilantly flashing victory sign outside Parliament.The stakes are high as the BJP looks for straight fifth victory in the Prime Minister’s home state.Though the initial trends showed a tough fight between the Congress and the BJP, the post-11 am leads show BJP topping the game.Top BJP leaders have already started reacting to the trends with many showing confidence in forming government both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.”We will form government in both Himachal and Gujarat with clear majority,” Union Hom Minister Rajnath Singh said as election leads started trickling in.”The result is as per our expectations. BJP is leading in both the states. BJP will form a government with clear majority in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh,” the Home Minister added.The elections for 182-seat Assembly were held on December 9 and 14, after an acrimonious campaign, which was dominated by a face-off between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.In the 2012 elections, the BJP had won 115 seats while the Congress emerged victorious on 61 seats.The BJP has been in power in the state since 1995, winning consecutive elections in the home state of Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

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Election Results: Will form govt in both Himachal and Gujarat with clear majority, says Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will form the government in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat with a clear majority as the party took leads in both states.”Trends very clear, we will form the government in both states,” he said.The BJP is leading in over 100 seats while the Congress nominees are ahead in 70 seats, as per the latest trends.Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: PM flashes victory sign as BJP tops trending gameChief Minister Vijay Rupani, who earlier trailed behind his Congress rival Indranil Rajyaguru after the counting of postal ballots, is now leading in Rajkot West seat.In the 2012 elections, the BJP had won 115 seats while the Congress emerged victorious on 61 seats.In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP has crossed the halfway mark and is ahead in 42 seats while the ruling Congress is leading in 23 seats.However, Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla (Rural) respectively.Independents are leading in two constituencies while the CPI(M) is ahead in one.

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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar mocks at Opposition: criticism of EVMs out of fear of defeat

After the Congress, the AAP and Patidar leader Hardik Patel expressed apprehension that the EVMs may have been tampered, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar didn’t let go of the opportunity to mock at the opposition. He tweeted on Sunday night that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) have helped making elections “transparent and impartial” and those criticising them were doing so out of the fear of defeat. Kumar’s observation came a day before the counting of votes for the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, and in the backdrop of allegations of EVM tampering in Gujarat to favour the BJP. “Some may criticize the EVMs out of fear of defeat, but the EVMs have made elections transparent and impartial. Now, nobody can deprive anybody of the right to cast votes,” Kumar, who has predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP in Gujarat, tweeted in Hindi. The Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and Patidar leader Hardik Patel have expressed apprehension that the EVMs may have been tampered with in Gujarat where the BJP has been in power for 22 years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had served as the Chief Minister for over a decade.(With PTI inputs)

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A dialogue with JC: Hapless Cong prays for a miracle as BJP set to wrest power in Guj and Himachal

Will results of Exit Polls be proved right in Himachal and Gujarat?The Exit Poll results of Himachal are 100% right. BJP is getting absolute majority there…Dhumal will be the chief minister and Modi-Amit Shah will also be present there…there is a tried trend in Himachal …it’s 5-year term for Virbhadra, 5 year for Dhumal…now it’s Dhumal’s turn.Will Amit Shah’s forecast of 15-year rule of BJP stand true in Himachal or will Congress come back after 5 years?Amit Shah has declared in election rallies that this time Himachal is not voting for 5 years , it is voting for 15 years. But how far this forecast is going to be true, it can’t be ascertained…after 5 years Dhumal will be 78…I think he is playing last innings…I think both the leaders are in their last leg due to their age…new generation is coming. How the pair of J P Nadda in Delhi and Dhumal in Shimla work together? Will they become two different centres of power?Nadda was a contender of chief minister…But when his name was ruled out and name of Dhumal was announced then he withdrew himself and dedicated entire focus on elections but going forward it can’t be denied that Nadda and Dhumal will be two different power centres. One will be Delhi and other will be in Shimla. High Command will have its task cut out to maintain coordination between them. Eventually what is the political future of Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur and Virbhandra’s son Vikramaditya?As far as Anurag Thakur is concerned, he is an MP and close to Arun Jaitley. On the other hand, Vikramaditya is contesting election this time…his future is in time wrap.Will Gujarat again see the reemergence of Jodi No : Narendra-Modi-Amit Shah? Will there be absolute majority for BJP or will it be the single largest party?Jodi is Super Hit…as far as election results are concerned, I believe that BJP is getting 112 seats and Congress 70. These days public gives decisive mandate…in 2014 polls BJP had led in 162 constituencies out of 165 and in this elections, the polling percentage was 68% and if we look at it, the vote looks even more decisive. Whichever party wins, it will get 125-130 seats. But it is believed that BJP will form government will 105-107 seats.Who besides Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi emerged as the hero of poll campaign in Gujarat?If we look at heroes of Gujarat campaign then only three are there – Modi, Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi…in second category we may keep Yogi, Smriti Irani, Jaitley, Hardik Patel and his two partners.Was the agenda of Gujarat Pride and Hindu-Muslim related issues came again into picture during last days of electioneering? Was there once again polarisation of Gujarati voters?Narendra Modi smartly raised the issue of Gujarat Pride…The word Neech which Manishankar uttered, Modi encashed that sensibly. Modi also raised the issue of Hindu-Muslim when he said that Manmohan Singh was present in a meeting with people of Pakistan to stall BJP from forming government Gujarat. This people believed to some extent. In the last leg of elections, what would be the impact of negative campaign carried out by Modi and BJP against Congress?Negative campaign is the strategy of Modi. But this should not have happened. Maximum people believed that campaigning should not stoop down to this level. When permission for roadshow in Ahmedabad was turned down, Modi campaigned from Sea-Plane. Was it Modi’s poll branding exercise? It was a masterstroke of Narendra Modi…people of Gujarat was hooked to the Plane. It was 100% a branding exercise.In this situation of Gujarat election, what would be the scenario in 2019? Will Rahul be able to give straight fight to Modi? How much impact would Gujarat and Himachal result will have on the outcome of 2019 elections?The 2019 scenario is absolutely clear which is showing Modi on seat. A Times of India survey say that 79% people want to see Modi as prime minister while Rahul Gandhi has only 16% vote for PM.In the second leg, a day before the polling, Rahul has given interview to Gujarat’s regional channel, what would be the impact on this?It was a mastermind move on Congress part…there is anxiety in BJP. That interview of Rahul was a big challenge for media managers of BJP, it was a failure. Interview came into light of election commission, sent notice to the channel and talks about filing FIR against Rahul also came into being. Later Election Commission retreated following uproar over this issue. Is Election Commission favouring BJP in case of violation of Code of Conduct and how much the independence of EC getting affected?It can’t be said that EC is favouring BJP or not but that goes as an impression among people, questions have been raised on the sanctity of EC. BJP has suffered from this.What would be the national agenda of Narendra Modi after winning elections in Gujarat and Himachal? Will he focus on governance or remain in election mode till 2019 elections? Modi is a man of passion. He has his own style of working. Whether he wins elections or not, it doesn’t affect him because he feels whatever he is doing is right. Whether it’s demonetisation or GST. But in coming days, he will have an agenda of conducting assembly and parliamentary elections simultaneously. Second agenda would be to make GST successful, third would be to have a crack down on shell companies and fourth would be to eradicate corruption. What would be the agenda of Narendra Modi’s one man army – Amit Shah? Will he again come into electioneering mode after forming cabinets in Gujarat and Himachal?If BJP forms government in Gujarat then his entire focus would be on Karnataka and then he will concentrate on Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and MP. He is completely immersed making political strategy 24X7. What is the political fallout of entry of Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha? Has remote control of BJP in Rajya Sabha gone to Amit Shah? This is Modi’s strategy not to merely send Amit Shah to Rajya Sabha but to establish him there. With Shah in RS, BJP MPs will be present in full strengthen with aggression. Definitely, the remote control will be with Amit Shah.Do you see any difference in the personality of Rahul Gandhi pre and post Gujarat elections?There is a big difference in both the situations. Earlier people used to make fun of Rahul Gandhi…now two major personality traits have been visible during Gujarat elections. Now he doesn’t hesitate and speak the language of people. His image has also seen a turnaround. Whether he wins election or not, he has emerged as a leader.Who will be Ahmed Patel of Rahul Gandhi? Or will core group of 4-5 leaders keep taking trivial decisions? Ahmed Patel has been in force as an advisor for last 20-25 years…there is no alternate to him in Congress…I don’t feel there can be any Ahmed Patel in the life of Rahul Gandhi Jagdeeshji, if I ask you to summarise this analysis in one sentence, what would you say?BJP is forming government in both the states but in Gujarat possibility of a miracle can’t be ruled out.

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Cab drivers to approach Maha CM over parking space

Black and yellow taxi drivers in Mumbai are facing a tough time as parking spaces are vanishing in the city. So, taxi unions have decided that they will approach Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with a blank cheque, asking him to fill in the desired amount to remove encroachments from parking stands designated for them.More than 27 lakh vehicles run on Mumbai roads and citizens find it difficult to find a space to park their vehicles. Many a times, they park their cars at the taxi stands. Over time, taxi unions have become desperate to revive stands that have either gone missing or have been encroached upon by private parking. The union claims that their taxi stands – which normally has a blue pole with a metal board showing a black taxi and number – have gone missing.”We will give a blank cheque to the Chief Minister’s office this week. The RTOs and traffic police authorities failed to clear them and the stands have disappeared,” said AL Quadros, leader, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.The union’s idea is that the authorities are not doing much on grounds that they do not have enough funds. The police said that they we following directives issued to them.”The taxi unions have been demanding additional taxi stands. We will follow the directions of the RTO and Transport department,” said Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).The taxi drivers say that other than private cars, there are also areas where illegal food stalls have taken over the cab stands. There are almost 1,400 taxi stands across Mumbai, of which 800 stands have vanished, they claim.The unions have also demanded for double parking, especially near commercial hubs and office districts during peak hours as their designated spaces have vanished.”We will have to check if the taxi union has given such a proposal ,” said S Pedamkar, RTO (Tardeo).Quadros said that over months, authorities have been making false promises as far as reviving taxi stands is concerned. At present, there are 55,000 black and yellow taxis officially registered at RTOs of Tardeo, Wadala and Andheri. However, of these around 48,000 ply everyday, while others are shut for some reason or other.

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Gujarat and Himachal Elections 2017: Can Congress stop a saffron sweep?

Counting of votes will be held tomorrow for the Gujarat and Himachal polls. The Gujarat Poll is considered a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home state and a litmus test for new Congress president Rahul Gandhi.While the BJP is seeking a sixth straight term in office, the Congress is aiming to stage a comeback in power after being in the opposition for over two decades.The results are expected to have a bearing on the 2019 parliamentary polls also as Modi had come to power in 2014, based on the Gujarat ‘model of development’.Also readGujarat Election 2017: Confident of bagging more than two-third seats, says BJPThe much-awaited results of the keenly fought elections will be announced tomorrow when the counting of votes will be held at 37 centres across the state’s 33 districts, amidst tight security.The voting was held following an acrimonious campaign, where both the main political parties indulged in no-holds- barred attacks on each other.Also readGujarat Election 2017: Exit polls are ‘nonsense’, BJP will definitely lose, says Jignesh MevaniModi led the campaign for the BJP, while Rahul Gandhi was the pivot of the Congress’ electioneering.During the campaign, Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah trained guns on the Congress on issues like Ram Temple, alleged Pakistani interference in the Gujarat polls and (suspended Congress leader) Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks.Also readHimachal Elections 2017: Exit Polls predict BJP will oust Congress in the hill state Gandhi persistently attacked Modi and the BJP for “not talking about the future of Gujarat” and skipping key issues being faced by the people of the state.The Congress also stitched about a broad social coalition with prominent Patidar, OBC, and Dalit leaders – Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jigesh Mevani – in its bid to unseat the BJP in power for over two decades.Patel led a long agitation of his community for reservation, while Thakor led an counter protest against inclusion of Patidars in the OBC reservation list. Mevani raised his voice against Dalit atrocities.The influential Patidar community, which accounts for around 12 per cent of the state’s population, could prove to be the ‘X factor’ in the polls in which Patel pledged support to the Congress and appealed to people to “uproot the BJP” this time.As the campaign was nearing its end, “Vikas” (development) took a back seat, and caste and religious issues received prominence.The two main rival parties also tried to counter each other on social media, as the Congress and its supporters launched the campaign “Vikas Gando Thayo Che” (development has gone crazy), while the BJP launched a counter drive of “I am development, I am Gujarat”.An average 68.41 per cent polling was recorded in the two-phase Assembly elections in Gujarat.According to the final figures released by the Election Commission, the voter turnout in the second phase of balloting on December 14, for 93 seats of North and Central Gujarat, stood at 69.99 per cent.In the first phase of polls held on December 9 for 89 seats in Saurasthra, Kutch and South Gujarat, 66.75 per cent voting was recorded.The total voter turnout this time has seen a dip of 2.91 per cent, as compared to the 2012 polls when 71.32 per cent polling was registered.In terms of numbers, of the total 4.35 crore registered voters, 2.97 crore exercised their right to franchise in the elections held on December 9 and 14.According to the EC data, the tribal-dominated Narmada district witnessed the highest voter turnout of 79.15 per cent, while Devbhumi-Dwarka of Saurashtra region recorded the lowest at 59.39 per cent.The districts which recorded a high turnout are Tapi (78.56 per cent), Banaskantha (75.15) and Sabarkantha (74.97). The districts which saw a low turnout are Amreli (61.29), Bhavnagar (61.56) and Porbandar (61.86).Out of the total 33 districts, 15 recorded over 70 per cent polling, while 17 others clocked between 60 per cent and 70 per cent.Only Devbhumi Dwarka district registered polling below 60 per cent.Counting in Himachal The fate of 337 candidates including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal will be known tomorrow as counting of votes is taken up in Himachal Pradesh where traditional rivals BJP and Congress have contested all 68 seatsThe hill state witnessed a record 75.28 per cent turnout and pollsters have predicted a BJP vitory.Adequate security arrangements have been made for counting which would start simultaneously in all 68 constituencies at 42 counting centres.Corruption was the main focus of the BJP campaign with the party training its guns at Chief Minister Singh, while the Congress hit out at the BJP over the issue of GST and demonetisation.The BSP contested 42 seats followed by the CPI(M) 14, the Swabhiman party and the Lok Gathbandhan Party six each and the CPI-3.Out of 67 sitting MLAs, 60 MLAS, nine cabinet ministers, HPCC president Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu, state BJP chief, Satpal Singh Satti, Deputy Speaker, Jagat Singh Negi and eight Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS) contested the poll along with a dozen former ministers.Himachal has a tradition of change in government after every elections and going by the trend, this time it is the turn of the BJP which is upbeat after exit poll results.There are 25 Congress, 28 BJP and four independent MLAs in the outgoing house while one seat was lying vacant after death of former minister Karan Singh from Banjar.Sitting Rajya Sabha member Viplov Thakur(Congress), former Lok Sabha members, Chander Kumar(Congress and Dr Rajan Shushant (Independent) and former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar(BJP) are also among key contestants.While the BJP is confident of winning the polls with a comfortable majority, the Congress has rejected the exit-polls and claimed that it was all set to repeat.The BJP ousted the Congress in 1990 and the Congress avenged defeat in 1993. The BJP formed the government with the help of Himachal Vikas Congress in 1998 and the Congress was back in power in 2003. The BJP made a comeback in 2007.2,820 counting staff has been deployed for tomorrow’s exercise which includes counting supervisors, counting assistants and micro observers.Chief Electoral Officer, Pushpender Rajput said three- tier security arrangements have been made at all counting centres.He said wire mesh barricading has been done at counting centers and there was a separate entry passage for counting staff and counting agents.Videography and CCTV coverage will be done in all counting centres.

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Madhya Pradesh: 18-year-old arrested for allegedly setting fire to car belonging to priests

An eighteen-year-old was arrested on Saturday in MP’s Satna for allegedly setting fire to a car belonging to priests who were accused of forced conversion by Bajrang Dal, reported NDTV. The incident allegedly took place on Thursday. A Catholic priest and 40 others were detained in Satna, Madhya Pradesh for alleged forced conversion, who also filed a complaint that their vehicles were set ablaze by Bajrang Dal workers, reports ANI.One local alleged that the Catholic priest had asked them to take holy dips in the pond and ‘embrace Christianity’.Also readMadhya Pradesh: Carol singers’ car set on fire in SatnaTOI reported that 32 Christmas ‘carol singers’ were detained by police in Satna. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said the group comprised seminarians and two priests form St Ephrem’s Theological College in Satna, and were detained while conducting routine carol singing program for Christmas.The TOI report states that when eight other priests, went to the police station to enquire, they too were held and one of their cars was set on fire outside the station.Also readBJP Mumbai President Ashish Shelar gets slammed on Twitter for promoting Christmas musical eventThe police said detention followed claims by one Dharmendra Dohar who alleged he was being forced to ‘embrace Christianity’.Earlier, Sub-inspector Mohinee Sharma of Civil Lines police station said a case has been registered against unidentified people for burning the vehicle, but denied claim about members of the Catholic community been assaulted during the incident. “They (members of the Catholic group) may have been manhandled outside the police station premises. If they come to us with a complaint that they were beaten up, we will surely book the accused,” the police officer had said. Also readWill follow my mind, Amruta Fadnavis to trolls who criticised her for attending Christmas-themed eventFather M. Rony, social work director of Satna diocese, told PTI that some young men stormed the venue of a pre- Christmas function at Bhoomkar village, 15 km from the district headquarters, around 9 last night and created a ruckus, alleging that religious conversion was going on there.The function was organised by Syro-Malabar Church of Northern India for children. After police got information, they came to the spot and took 32 Catholic brothers (trainee priests) and two priests to the Civil Lines police station, Fr Rony said.With inputs from agencies

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From selling ‘Rahul herbal tea’ to distributing ‘Rahul rose’, meet Rahul Gandhi’s number 1 fan Anwar Hussain

As Rahul Gandhi officially took charge as the Congress president on Saturday, a 30-year-old Congress leader in Gorakhpur was filled with emotions and happiness. Anwar Hussain, who started his political career as a student leader, said he and his party leaders have been working really hard to establish Rahul Gandhi brand.From selling ‘Rahul herbal tea’ to distributing ‘Rahul rose’, Anwar have been the biggest fan of Rahul Gandhi. Anwar has already made plans to strengthen the Congress party by involving both young men and women in the party.“My plan now, after Rahulji’s elevation, will be to strengthen the Congress by getting more and more young men and women to join the party. He (Rahul) is very popular among youth,” said Anwar according to an HT report.During the recent UP assembly elections, he even distributed ‘Rahul rose’ to voters, appealing to them to vote.He also grabbed a lot of media attention when he promoted the Samajwadi Party and Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh during the assembly elections. He called Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav ‘Karan Arjun ki Jodi’.Anwar also distributed ‘Rahul herbal tea’ during demonetisation when people stood in bank queues. He even sold ‘Rahul onion’ at Rs 5 per kg when the prices soared.Back in 2014, when BJP launched their ‘chai pe charcha’ poll campaign under their candidate Narendra Modi for general elections, Anwar found a new way to counter his rival party. In an effort to sideline BJP’s campaign ‘Modi tea’, the Gorakhpur leader started ‘Rahul Milk’ campaign.Anwar was also part of the campaign of the Congress members who wrote letters with blood and made an emotional appeal to elevate Rahul Gandhi as the party president in 2015.Not just that, Anwar has been Rahul Gandhi’s ultimate fan, setting up a picture gallery of his mentor in his house and even a coffee mug of Rahul’s pictures in it.

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Himachal Elections 2017: A day before counting, both BJP and Congress claim victory

With less than a day to go before the counting of votes begins in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, both ruling Congress and the opposition BJP are claiming victory.While the Congress dismissed the exit poll results, which predicted a BJP victory, the saffron party expressed confidence that their performance would better projections.Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who returned to Shimla after 18 days, dismissed the exit poll results, saying he could well read the mood of the people of the state and the actual results would be opposite to the exit poll projections.”I am confident that ‘mission repeat’ would be achieved and tall claims made by the BJP would be proved wrong,” he told reporters.Singh said he visited every nook and corner of the state during the election campaign and has no doubt the Congress was in a strong position.Also readHimachal Elections 2017: Exit Polls predict BJP will oust Congress in the hill state “The Congress would certainly for the government.” On the other hand, former chief minister and senior BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal was highly optimistic and said the results would be same as projected in the exit polls.Also readBJP exudes confidence after Exit Polls predict wins in Gujarat and Himachal, Congress says wait for D-DayTalking to reporters at his Samirpur residence, Dhumal said the Congress party was upset with the exit polls and was making vague statements. “In fact, the BJP would win more seats than projected in exit-polls,” he said.Dhumal was declared the chief ministerial face of the BJP towards the end of the campaign.

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What is govt doing? Rajnath Singh targets Cong over deaths of Gauri Lankesh and Paresh Mesta

Speaking at the Parivartan Rally in Bengaluru, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh targeted the Karnataka government over the alleged murders of Paresh Mehta and Gauri Lankesh.He said: “Paresh Mesta was recently killed. What this govt is doing in these murder cases’ Gauri Lankesh was killed. I want to assure Karnataka public that when our govt is formed, we will probe her death from all angles, culprits will be punished. We won’t save anyone.”With the assembly elections in Karnataka on the agenda for 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed to the natives to support the formation of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government under the leadership of B.S. Yeddyurappa.Also readWhen Rajnath Singh met the Maulvi saab who caned him as a kid and got emotionalRajnath while praising the former chief minister said, ‘We want to empower Karnataka, and this will be possible when, in two to three months, a BJP government will be formed here. The BJP will contest in the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka under B. S. Yeddyurappa Ji’s leadership.’ Also readRSS pays tribute to slain journalist Gauri LankeshAccusing the Congress Party and its leadership in the state of indulging in corruption, Rajnath alleged that the grand old party is indulging in ‘divide and rule’ in the state and causing communal disharmony by involving caste and other related factors. He further claimed that scams such as that related to the construction of a steel flyover are being ignited by the Congress. ‘Congress government here wants to divide Karnataka community to rule. I received information that even though there is no regulation in the constitution, Muslim community here was befooled with reservation which was later out ruled by the Court,’ he said. Also readParesh Mesta death: BJP urges Karnataka Guv to intervene, Siddaramaiah says ‘unfortunate’ incident being politicisedRajnath added, ‘The government here created such an issue over Tipu Sultan. I do not want to dive deep into history, but I have to ask: Why is there no celebration for Kempegowda, Kittur Rani Chennamma or Sir M. Visvesvaraya’ Why only Tipu Sultan?” Congratulating the newly-elected president of the party, Rahul Gandhi, Rajnath further accused the Congress of igniting disorder and turmoil in several states, including Kashmir. ‘I want to congratulate him (Rahul Gandhi) but also ask- did the fire of communalism, terrorism and axalism in India erupt due to BJP’s policies’ Did fire erupt in Kashmir due to BJP’s policies? If someone formed governments by setting fire, it is Congress. BJP is trying to douse the flame,’ claimed Rajnath.Lauding the initiatives across various fronts taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajnath claimed that India is no longer considered weak, and is now a superpower that nobody can questions. ‘If not for the BJP and Prime Minister Modi, the Doklam issue would not have been resolved. China too has understood that diplomatic ties have to be maintained. On the Indo-Pakistan border, our forces are strongly retaliating against attacks, as was seen during the surgical strike last year. We will not fire first, but if someone fires at us, we will not sit back,’ claimed Rajnath. Highlighting the economic reforms undertaken in the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, Rajnath opined that steps such as demonetisation have led to an intense crackdown on benami properties, shell companies and black money. Further, steps like financial inclusion and strengthening of agriculture have been praised by international agencies such as Moody and others too, he said. At the rally, Rajnath was accompanied by Yeddyurappa and other party leaders. On a related note, Karnataka will go to polls in April next year. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Tuesday took out a ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ march from Gandhi Statue to submit a memorandum to Governor Vajubhai Vala seeking direction to the Karnataka Government for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe in youth activist Paresh Mesta death case. The march was led by MP Shobha Karandlaje. They later reached the Governor’s house and urged him to intervene in this incident. The body of the missing activist Paresh Mesta, a resident of Thulisinagar in Honnovar was found in a lake behind Shani temple on Friday. He was missing from last Wednesday. There has been significant tension in parts of Uttar Kannada post his death. Mesta’s family has alleged that there was foul play and it’s unlikely that he drowned in the lake. However police have ruled out any foul play, according to reports. Doctors who have performed autopsy on the body say they didn’t find any evidence of assault or mutilation, according to multiple reports. ​BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje has alleged that it’s a ‘brutal murder’ and the state government is trying to cover it up. Several top leaders including Union Minister Ananth Kumar was part of Mesta’s funeral procession, the report says. According to BJP MP Karandlaje, police were mute spectators when a hostile mob attacked Mesta near a temple on Wednesday. The trigger was a street fight between an autorickshaw driver and motorbike rider, which soon took a communal colour. There was stone pelting too and shops were attacked. Reports suggest that Mesta was missing after trying to evade stone pelting. His body was found from Shettikere Lake a couple of days later. Gauri Lankesh edited the anti-establishment Gauri Lankesh Patrike. Her killing was very similar to the earlier killings of the rationalists and activists Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar, and MM Kalburgi who were equally critical of the right wing.The journalist’s family has made a plea not to give a political colour to her killing. They had said the investigators should look into all possible aspects of the case, as reports had emerged about a possible Naxal hand in the crime, besides the suspected involvement of right-wing extremists.With inputs from ANI

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Madhya Pradesh: 3 arrested for molesting woman police sub-inspector

The accused were arrested following the woman filed case against them under section 354 (sexual harassment), section 353 (assault and using criminal force to deter a public servant from doing his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under the relevant section of Arms Act.”
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Sunday 17 December 2017 10:37 ISTMust readIndia’s request for Red Corner Notice against Zakir Naik not accepted by Interpol, NIA to file fresh appealHorror night for 23-year-old Pune lady: Raped by two, molested by one <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Three people have been arrested for allegedly molesting and threatening a woman police sub-inspector at gun-point in Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>The accused allegedly passed lewd comments at the sub sub-inspector and molested her.The accused were arrested following the woman filed case against them under section 354 (sexual harassment), section 353 (assault and using criminal force to deter a public servant from doing his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under the relevant section of Arms Act.

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10 free WiFi zones to come up in Ahmedabad

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) that had announced to provide more than 45 free WiFi spots in city under its Smart City plan by August has now decided to at least start a trial run on 10 of these by December 30.Ahmedabad has lagged behind as Rajkot has been providing internet access to its citizens since February. For internet connectivity and fibre optic network, civic authorities of Ahmedabad have allotted a budget of Rs 239 crore including CCTV cameras for surveillance.The 30 minute of free Internet access would be provided to Amdavadis under Internet of Things (IoT). “We are ready with the 10 spots as part of a trial run. December 30 is the day when we are going to start the run. Initially, we have covered all zonal offices of AMC, MJ Library, Riverfront, LG Hospital and a dental college of AMC,” said Yatindra Nayak, manager e-governance of AMC. “User data and limit is yet to be finalised and will be based on TRAI guidelines,” added Nayak.”Any smart phone has to be connected with the Internet after generation of One Time Password (OTP),” said Ramyakumar Bhatt, assistant municipal commissioner. Interestingly, a private company had started to provide free internet service in some zones of Ahmedabad in 2014, when Narendra Modi was the CM. The PM had even launched eight Wi-Fi hot-spots for citizens to enjoy seamless network facility including Kankaria Lakefront, Gandhi Ashram, Science City and Civil Hospital. The facility at most of these areas is not available now.AMC promises that soon after the trial run, more than 45 such spots will be set up. It is to be noted that the civic body is providing free internet access during its annual book fair which is held in May.CONNECTING PEOPLEFor internet connectivity and fibre optic network, civic authorities have allotted a budget of Rs239 crore including CCTV cameras for surveillance A 30-minute free Internet access would be provided to Amdavadis under Internet of Things (IoT) by the authorities

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Modi’s Health(thy) policy aims to prevent diseases

Union health minister JP Nadda said that Modi government’s health policy is focused on preventing diseases rather than on diseases.The health minister was speaking in ZEE Hindustan’s ‘Healthy Hindustan Conclave 2017’ in New Delhi on Saturday. Jagdish Chandra, CEO of Zee Hindustan was also present in the programme. Zee Hindustan felicitated many doctors for their excellent contribution in the programme.Nadda said that health is a serious field and everyone has a different viewpoint on health. According to him, Modi government launched a new health scheme in 2017, which concentrates on prevention than disease itself. He said that the first and second year of a child is very important from health perspective. The first two years decides his future and the government is working maximum on immune system of children.The union health minister said that the government believes that healthy children mean healthy nation and working in this direction. He said that fifth phase of ‘Mission Indradhanush’ is underway and 60% target has been achieved. In the sixth phase in 2018, it will be 90% completed.“India cannot be compared with other nations in the world in health matters. We are a huge country where people have all kind of liberty. This is a unique country, which cannot be compared with other nations at least in health matters,” he said.According to Nadda, when entire world is worried about Ibola and Zica, India’s checking system is so strong that when a single patient is found, he is allowed to go after completely curing him. In a way there is no impact of Ibola and Zica in India.“The country has now six more AIIMS instead of just one and soon six more will be set up. Simultaneously, we are converting district hospitals in medical colleges. So far 58 district hospitals have been converted and 60 more are in queue. Today even rural children are studying medicine and the country is progressing in health sector. This change is visible in last three years,” he claimed.CMD of Kent RO, Mahesh Gupta also attended the programme. He said that changing lifestyle is creating health problems. “We are polluting the earth, which is contributing to the health problems,” he said.According to Gupta, the government is trying to provide clean drinking water but water sources have been polluted and antibiotics have mixed in it. “This is time to think and go back to Ayuverda, which is close to nature. Only ayurveda can help India become healthy nation,” he added.Zee Hindustan CEO, Jagdish Chandra said that ZEE is voice of the country. It is forever ready to spread message to the masses. “We will help in creating public awareness about health programmes,” Chandra said.

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Udaipur: Peace & net get a chance to log in

Few groups had previously claimed that on Thursday, the demonstration was in support of the Rajsamand hate crime accused, Shambhulal while others held it to be against the anti social slogans. Even as the exact cause and those to be behind the notorious social media messages are still to be identified, police and administration have sought to levy ban on mobile internet and imposition of Section 144 to keep the situations under control. The prohibitory orders were though called off as city remains peaceful since Thursday evening clash. ”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByAvanindra Mishra <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 17 December 2017 4:08 ISTMust readMeat prep, damage to temple during film shoot irk localsRadheshyam Garg is new RPSC chief<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Prohibitory orders and Internet restrictions were waived at Udaipur district on Saturday after three days of unrest and confusion. Communal tension had gripped the city following the incident of Rajsamand hate killing and demonstration of right wing organisations protesting anti- national slogans allegedly raised by at public gathering. The demonstration on Thursday had turned violent as the demonstrators clashed with police leaving several injured. Social media though has emerged as a major culprit in the incident. “Many of those protesting on Thursday were unaware of the exact cause of their protest. They had arrived following stray messages on social media calling for gathering at the city,” police superintendent Udaipur told DNA.Few groups had previously claimed that on Thursday, the demonstration was in support of the Rajsamand hate crime accused, Shambhulal while others held it to be against the anti social slogans. Even as the exact cause and those to be behind the notorious social media messages are still to be identified, police and administration have sought to levy ban on mobile internet and imposition of Section 144 to keep the situations under control. The prohibitory orders were though called off as city remains peaceful since Thursday evening clash.

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I am contesting assembly polls to prevent BJP coming to power: Siddaramaiah

Indicating that the 2018 assembly polls could “most likely” be his last election, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said that he is contesting to stop the BJP from coming back to power.”Most likely the forthcoming assembly election will be the last election for me,” Siddaramaiah told reporters at Raichur in north Karnataka.However, Siddaramaiah maintained that he would remain active in politics, but not contest assembly polls.Earlier during the 2013 assembly polls, Siddaramaiah had said that it was his last election.Conceding that he had during the 2013 polls stated it would be his last election, the Chief Minister said he was contesting to stop BJP from getting back to power.”Looking at elections and the political system,I had felt it is enough, but looking at communal politics by BJP, I felt I should stand for election. Also, the high command said that I should contest,” he said.”I have the responsibility to see to that BJP does not come back to power, so I’m contesting,” he added.The Congress has announced Siddaramaiah would be the party’s face during the 2018 Assembly polls, and is yet to decide on the Chief Ministerial candidate.Stating that he would contest from Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru district, Siddaramaiah said there are 20 constituencies other than that or Varuna from where he could contest and win.”Chamundeshwari is the constituency that gave me political strength and rebirth, so I felt I should end from there,” he said.Making his debut in the Assembly in 1983,Siddaramaiah got elected from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal Party ticket. He has won from the constituency five times and seen defeat twice.Siddaramaiah represents Varuna in Mysuru after it came into existence in 2008 following the reorganisation of constituencies.Speculations are rife that the chief minister is keen on fielding his son Yatindra from Varuna.

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Pune: BJP RS MP Sanjay Kakade predicts party’s loss in Gujarat

During Pune municipal elections earlier this year, he had predicted 92 seats for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and he was ready to quit politics if his prediction goes wrong. His party went on to win 98 seats in PMC and now the same MP of BJP Sanjay Kakade has predicted that his party will not win enough number of seats in Gujarat election.After the voting in Gujarat, most of the exit poll surveys have been predicting a victory for BJP but Kakade, the Rajya Sabha MP claimed that he has done his own survey in the state and according to the findings of his survey, performance of his own party will be dismal. Speaking to DNA, Kakade said, “I had sent a team of six people to Gujarat and they have covered mostly the rural part of the state. They have met farmers, labourers, waiters and drivers. According to their survey, the party is not getting enough number of seats to reach to majority. In fact, it is the Congress party who is likely to reach close to majority mark.”Also readEC orders repolling in 6 booths of second phase in Gujarat”The Patidar community has supported Congress, the Dalits are supporting Congress and Muslims have been traditionally voting Congress party. Therefore, nearly 70 percent of the population is with Congress party which is why I feel, Congress will win enough number of seats to reach close to majority,” he said.Kakade stated that he had made his own observations about the Gujarat election and a there was no mention of the topic of development by his party leaders in the last phase of the campaign. “During last few rallies, our leaders did not speak about the development. The rallies were mostly aimed at making emotional appeal to voters and targeting opposition,” Kakade said.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Stars point at close contest, with an edge to BJPHe also stated that BJP was in power for 22 years and there is a negativity against the party. “Since independence, only communists have regained the power in West Bengal for a longer period of time. Apart from that, there is not a single party which has got the power for more than 25 years. At present there is negativity against the party in Gujarat. In spite of that negativity, if BJP wins the election, it will be because of only and only Narendra Modi,” Kakade said.

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‘Ray of hope’: Wishes pour in from politicos for Rahul Gandhi as he becomes Congress President

Wishes poured in for Rahul Gandhi from various opposition parties as he took over the reins of the Congress party today, with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav saying the whole nation “wants to see him as the next prime minister”.Forty-seven-year-old Gandhi responded to the leaders on Twitter, saying, “thank you”. The leaders hoped that Gandhi would strive for the welfare of the people, put up a fight to protect secular fabric of the country. Former Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav lauded Gandhi for “redefining” Indian politics. Also readCongress prez Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to martyrs of 1971 warYadav said Gandhi has proved his mettle in inclusive, secular and liberal politics. The RJD leader said the youth feels “duped and cheated” under the current BJP-led NDA regime. “And this respect, Rahul Gandhi ji is being seen as a ray of hope to bring this pessimistic politics to an end. The whole nation wants to see him as the next prime minister of India,” Yadav said in a video message posted on the Congress’s Twitter handle. Also readBJP rakes up Madhu Koda’s sentencing to target Rahul Gandhi on his first day as Congress PresidentReferring to a line “that there are many promises to keep, miles to go before I sleep” from Robert Frost’s poem, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury hoped it would be the guiding motto for Gandhi during his stewardship of the Congress. “In Indian politics, we wish all those who have taken up new responsibilities the best. Our wishes to him in discharging these responsibilities only with the hope that it will be in the interest of the people and the country,” he said in a video message on the Congress’s Twitter handle. “Congratulations Rahul ji for this big responsibility and our best wishes for all ur endeavours,” Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.In a video message posted on the Congress’s Twitter handle, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav noted Gandhi’s responsibilities have now become greater and hoped he would make consistent efforts to take the grand old party forward. DMK working president M K Stalin also joined the leaders in wishing Gandhi, hoping he would restore glory of secularism. “Am confident that he will fulfil the aspirations and hopes of the people and restore the glory of Secularism, Socialism and Federalism. @OfficeOfRG,” Stalin tweeted. Taking to Twitter, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the party takes a pledge for a new movement that is free from fear, fascism, prejudices, equity and true democracy.”New Energy, Newer steps, New Challenges & Navsarjan! Under the leadership of Rahulji, We shall write a golden chapter for Our Nation!” Surjewala tweeted.Facing the uphill task of reviving a moribund party, Rahul Gandhi today took over as the Congress president, and immediately hit out at the BJP, accusing it of spreading hatred and violence in the country.”They break, we unite. They ignite fire, we douse it. They get angry, we love. This is the difference between them and us,” he told party workers.Gandhi, who was heralded by the 132-year-old party’s top brass, family members and boisterous rank-and-file, alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking India back to the medieval times.In his first speech to party workers after his formal takeover, he set the tone of its future course and how the party would take on its arch-rival BJP, saying the Congress was for inclusive politics and that it respects all Indians that extends even to the ruling party.The 47-year-old Gandhi family scion said he took over the party reins knowing that he would always be walking in the “shadow of giants”.”Today, the BJP people are trying to spread fire and violence in the entire country and only the force of lovable Congress workers and leaders can stop them,” he said.Before he gave his first address, he sought his mother Sonia Gandhi’s blessings and kissed her on the forehead.Attacking Modi, he said the Congress took India into the 21st century, “while the prime minister today is taking us backward, to a medieval past where people are butchered because of who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat”.This ugly violence in the country, he said, has “shamed us” in the world as India’s philosophy and history, born out of love and compassion, are being tarnished by such horror.In an emotionally charged final speech as the Congress chief while passing on the party’s mantle to her son, Sonia Gandhi said the grand old party should set its house in order and introspect while readying for any sacrifice to stop communal forces in the country.She exuded confidence that Rahul would lead the party with courage, patience and devotion. He has endured many personal attacks which have made him “fearless”, she said.She also voiced concern over the alleged attacks on the core constitutional and fundamental values of the country by the BJP and asked party workers not to relent in the fight against such forces.”We are all witness to daily attacks on our fundamental values, against the freedom of speech and expression, against our rich diverse culture, and an atmosphere of fear and suspicion is being created.”Amid this, the Congress must look within and introspect and forge ahead. If we do not stand by our principles, we will not be able to wage this fight for the common people. This is a moral battle and to achieve success, we must set our house in order and be ready for any kind of sacrifice,” she said.Sonia Gandhi said the country was facing “unprecedented challenges”, but stressed that the party was not going to be scared and would fight it out.She recalled the times when she entered politics after losing her “anchor” (Rajiv Gandhi) and “mother” (Indira Gandhi), and how with the support of Congress workers she steered the party to power both at the Centre and in state after state.Congratulating Rahul Gandhi on his elevation, she said personal attacks on him have made him fearless and voiced confidence that his leadership will infuse new vigour in the party.”I am confident that with a new and young leadership, our party will be reinvigorated and bring about changes we need. You have chosen Rahul as your leader. He is my son, and it is not right for me to praise him,” she said.Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said Rahul Gandhi will sustain the “politics of hope” which is needed in the country and not allow the “politics of fear” to take over.In his brief address at an event where the new Congress president was handed over a formal certificate by the party’s election authority, Singh said certain “disturbing trends” are noticeable in the country’s polity and the people were depending on Rahul Gandhi to transform it.Singh described the day as “unique” in the party’s history and said Rahul Gandhi’s leadership would bring a new sense of dedication and commitment to steer the party to greater heights of glory.He also praised Sonia Gandhi for the “powerful and magnificent” leadership provided by her to the Congress which would go down in the annals of its history.”As a distinguished academic pointed out a few days ago, there are dangers that the politics of fear will take over from the politics of hope,” the former prime minister said, apparently targeting the BJP.”May your path be blessed,” he said as he ended his speech.Rahul Gandhi was given the certificate in the presence of Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra and several senior party leaders.The new party chief also met PCC delegates from various states thanking them for electing him unopposed.There was chaos outside the AICC headquarters where party workers gathered in large numbers to witness the event, making it difficult even for senior party leaders to enter the premises.While there was bursting of crackers outside the venue, women played with ‘gulal’ and young party workers danced to the beats of ‘dhol’.Posters and banners were put up in Lutyens’ Delhi and traffic was halted around the AICC office on Akbar Road.

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BJP will register comprehensive victories in Gujarat and Himachal: RS Prasad

Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad today asserted that the party will register comprehensive victories in the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.The law and justice, electronics and IT minister said voters have full faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during whose tenure the country has witnessed “all-round growth”.”The people of Gujarat have not forgotten the economic progress and the excellent law and order that prevailed while Modi was the chief minister. The BJP is all set to retain power in the state with a comfortable majority,” he told reporters here.The minister also expressed confidence that the BJP will “win a thumping majority in Himachal Pradesh and dislodge the Congress from power”.Counting of votes in both the states will begin on December 18.Prasad arrived here on his way to Rohtas district, where he is scheduled to address a four-day training camp for the party’s state-level office bearers that began yesterday.”The country has witnessed all-round growth and new benchmarks of progress have been set under Modi’s leadership,” he said.There has been effective action against terrorists and the PM’s diplomacy has been a huge success, placing India among the strong nations of the world, he added.

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Swati Maliwal: Call to speed up child rape executions in India

A leading women’s rights advocate says the government should take tougher action on rapists.

My mother will continue to contest from Rae Bareli, not me: Priyanka Gandhi virtually rules out Sonia’s retirement

Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra today put to rest the speculation over her contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Rae Bareli, saying her mother Sonia Gandhi would again be in the fray from the Parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.Rae Bareli is currently represented in the Lok Sabha by outgoing Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who passed on the mantle of the top party post to her son Rahul Gandhi today.There is a speculation in the media over Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra assuming an active role in politics to assist her brother, Rahul Gandhi.The speculation arose after Sonia Gandhi indicated her “retirement” yesterday.The Congress had, however, clarified that Sonia Gandhi was only retiring as the Congress president and not from active politics.Also readHimanta Biswa Sarma congratulates Rahul’s elevation; says will continue to have political contests with him”There is no question of me contesting (the 2019 polls)…My mother will contest from there (Rae Bareli),” Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra said after Rahul Gandhi assumed charge as Congress president at an event at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters here.She also lauded her mother, calling her the “bravest” woman for overcoming huge difficulties during her record 19- year tenure as the Congress chief.Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi (from Amethi) are the only two Congress representatives from Uttar Pradesh in the current Lok Sabha. Also readPM taking us back to medieval times, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi Soon after taking charge as the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi today launched a frontal attack on the BJP, accusing it of spreading hatred and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking India back to medieval times.Gandhi said the BJP is “fighting for itself”, while the Congress is “fighting for everyone” in the country.Also readRahul Gandhi is captain of a ‘sinking ship’: Union Minister Babul SupriyoThe Congress chief said he wanted the party to be an instrument of dialogue with people from all corners of the country, “all religions, all ethnicities, all ages and gender and for our dialogue to be led by love and affection”.He lamented that politics “was being used today to crush the people and not lift them up”.”The BJP is spreading hatred and communalism… They break, while we unite. They ignite fire, we douse it,” Gandhi said.”The Congress took India into 21st century, while the prime minister today is taking us backwards to medieval past when people are butchered because of who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat,” he alleged.”This ugly violence shames us in the world,” he said in his first address to party men after taking over as the Congress president.47-year-old Rahul Gandhi took charge of the Congress in the presence of his mother and outgoing president Sonia Gandhi, sister Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior party leaders.Reaching out to the youth, he said as “it is stated that the Congress is a grand old party we will make it a grand old and young party… We will fight all hatred with love.”Rahul Gandhi said the Congress party is like a family to him and vowed to take it forward.

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Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist found dead in Jammu and Kashmir

More details are awaited.”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist found dead in Jammu and Kashmir (Picture for Representation)
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written By
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Saturday 16 December 2017 15:58 ISTMust readMinor set ablaze by neighbours for opposing molestation in UP’s MainpuriAaditya Thackeray sets deadline for quitting alliance<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>One Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist, a Pakistani national, was found dead in Tral Eidgah in South Kashmir on Saturday.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also readJammu and Kashmir | 3 terrorists gunned down in Handwara encounter, ‘raining whole night,’ tweets DGPThe terrorist was killed after a landmine went off where he was hiding.More details are awaited.

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Rahul Gandhi is captain of a ‘sinking ship’: Union Minister Babul Supriyo

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Babul Supriyo on Saturday termed Congress President Rahul Gandhi as captain of the “sinking ship.”Speaking to ANI, Minister of State (MoS) for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Supriyo said, “Rahul Gandhi is the captain of a sinking ship. I would enjoy his speech back home as he must have said something humorous. I have heard his speech is already doing rounds on social media but I think he should talk about himself also.” He added that Rahul Gandhi is talking only about the BJP, which is already doing wonders.Also readPM taking us back to medieval times, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi “He is talking about 21st century but I am not sure the party will remain even till this century given that its performance is falling apart every day. Definitely Congress has a great history and I hope it has a great future too,” the BJP leader stated.Earlier in the day, Rahul took over as the Congress president by succeeding his mother Sonia Gandhi.Also readHimanta Biswa Sarma congratulates Rahul’s elevation; says will continue to have political contests with himThe 47-year-old was officially declared party president in a ceremony held at the party’s 24 Akbar Road headquarters here.He was given the certificate of Congress president by Mullappally Ramachandran, the chairman of the party’s central election authority, who oversaw the organisational polls.Also readSonia Gandhi and the unexpected rise and stunning fall of CongressThe ceremony was attended by party stalwarts, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and other party leaders.His sister Priyanka Gandhi and brother-in-law Robert Vadra were also present on the occasion.Sweets were distributed, slogans raised, crackers burst and party workers danced to drum beats to celebrate the change of guard. Artists from different parts of the nation were also seen performing outside the party head office. Congress workers marched from Rail Bhavan to party office. Sonia headed the party for 19 years since 1998.

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Rapists of minors should be hanged within 6 months: Swati Maliwal

Lamenting the “delay” in carrying out sentence of December 16 gang-rape and murder incident, Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal claimed the long winding legal process allowed the criminals to feel they can get away with such henious crimes.She urged the prime minister to bring in a legislation wherein at least those convicted of raping minors are given death penalty within six months.Nirbhaya, a para-medical student, was brutally gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. The incident took place while she was returning with a friend after watching a movie.She died 13 days after the incident at a hospital in Singapore.Of the six men arrested in the case, one of the accused Ram Singh hanged himself in prison in March 2013, while another man, who was a juvenile at the time of the crime, was convicted in August. Last year, he was released from the correction home after serve the maximum sentence of three years in a reform home.The other four — Akshay, Vinay Sharma, Pawan and Mukesh — were found guilty and sentenced to death by the Delhi High Court in September 2013. The Supreme Court also upheld the high court’s decision.”It’s the fifth death anniversary of Nirbhaya incident and the fact is that nothing has changed in this country.Everyday girls and women are being brutally raped in this country,” she said.Maliwal also highlighted the need for having fast-track courts in the city so that rapists are punished forthwith.Also, there is a need to upgrade the delivery mechanism of the forensic department as well as the accountability of the police, she said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”The system has made the criminals confident enough to believe that they can get away with any crime perpetrated against a woman or a child.”It is very unfortunate that even Nirbhaya herself has not got justice in this country. Nirbhaya’s mother is still running from pillar to post in order to ensure that her beloved daughter can get justice,” Maliwal said.The DCW chief said that at least in case of rape of minor girls, there should be a law in this country in which such rapists should be punished and given death penalty within six months.She also made an appeal to the prime minister to constitute a high-level committee on women’s safety in Delhi, having the Union home minister, the lieutenant governor, the chief minister, the police commissioner and the DCW representatives as its members, to take effective decisions on issues of women’s safety.Drawing the prime minister’s attention to the Nirbhaya fund, which has remained unutilised till date, Maliwal urged him to devolve the fund immediately to the states failing which the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme will lose its relevance.

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Setting tone for 2019 Lok Sabha polls? PM taking us back to medieval times, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi

All roads led to 24, Akbar Road since early morning on Saturday as the Congress prepared for the change of guard at its headquarters in New Delhi.Celebration was in the air as party workers were seen dancing and bursting crackers ahead of the official elevation of Rahul Gandhi as president of the 132-year-old party.The 47-year-old arrived at the venue in his trademark white kurta payjama teaming it with black half jacket.Sharing the dais with his mother Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi was beaming with confidence.Sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra were seen in the front row.Terming the moment as ‘historic’ Mullappally Ramachandran, the chairman of the central election authority of Congress, handed over the certificate of elevation to Rahul Gandhi amid loud cheers.After Ramachandran’s brief remark, former PM Manmohan Singh took the stage to congratulate Rahul Gandhi. He also took the moment to recall the stint of Sonia Gandhi as Congress president.Though the spotlight was firmly on Rahul Gandhi, but his mother’s emotional farewell speech managed to strike a chord with party workers.In her 20-minute long address, Sonia Gandhi talked about assassinations of her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi and her husband Rajiv Gandhi. She recalled the difficult days and her initial years in Indian politics.With a rousing standing ovation, the Congress gave its respect to the outgoing party president.Then came the moment everyone was waiting for. In his first speech as Congress President, Rahul Gandhi talked about the ‘politics of fear’. In an all out attack against the ruling BJP and the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said that the Congress took India to 21st century, but ‘the PM today is taking us back to medieval times.’He also spoke about how these days, people are being targeted for what they eat. The stinging attack clearly shows that the 47-year-old will not sit back but take aggressive stance in future.The address also shows his confidence and the vision that he is providing the party for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Congress trying to set an alternative political narrative will decide the future of Grand Old Party, which was reduced to just 44 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats in 2014. With just 8 per cent votes, it was Congress’ worst performance ever. The same was seen in Sonia Gandhi farewell address when she said that ‘we have lots many elections, but we won’t bow down.’ It is this self-realisation that will help the Congress in coming times and help the party to stay relevant.In his address, Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP for politics of hate. He said, ‘They (BJP) crush voices but we allow them to speak, they defame, we respect and defend.’ He also said, ‘Those in BJP are soldiers fighting for self. Whereas the Congress is guided by service of community.’ It is these statements clearly portraying the Congress as the party working for ‘spirit of India’ that may propel Congress to a course correction.The big question remains – can Rahul Gandhi put Congress back in power? What was seen in Gujarat – his temple visits or marathon public interactions – may have shown that he has finally arrived on the political scene, yet the Monday results may set new tone.

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PM Modi inaugurates hydropower project in Mizoram, says northeast development is a top govt agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mizoram on Saturday, the first time since assuming power as prime minister in 2014. The purpose of the visit was to complete the 60 Mega-Watt Tuirial Hydropower Project.”It is the first large hydropower project in Mizoram. It will boost the socio-economic development of the State,” the PM said at a gathering.Hailing the first NDA government for its work in the northeast, PM Modi added, “During the tenure of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee significant work was done for the development of the Northeast. We have taken forward this vision and are devoting resources for the progress of the Northeast. There have been over 150 Ministerial visits. Our initiative – the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) at your doorstep has added impetus to the development of the Northeast. It has enabled us to understand the aspirations of the Northeast even better,” the PM added.Adding that the project would provide eco-tourism and proper drinking water to the people of the state, PM Modi added that the vision of New India can be realized only if fruits of development reach all. Government plans to focus on around 115 districts which are relatively backward when evaluated on various indicators. This will benefit backward districts of North Eastern States including Mizoram. “Besides electricity the reservoir water will also open new avenues for navigation. This will provide connectivity to remote villages. The huge reservoir, spread over an area of 45 square kilometres can also be used for development of fisheries,” he said.”It is said that the lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the North Eastern Region. My Government wants to do ‘Transformation by Transportation’ through investment in infrastructure to change the face of the North Eastern Region,” he added.Also readCentre considering over 60 proposals for Northeast-based start-upsThe prime minister also spoke on his other plans to develop the northeast region. “We are committed to bring all the State Capitals of North East Region on the Rail map. The Government of India is executing 15 New Rail Line projects of 1385 kilometers length, at a cost of over Rs.47,000 crore,” PM Modi said, adding the Union Government has been proactively following the ‘Act East Policy’. “As a gate-way to South East Asia, Mizoram stands to gain immensely from this. It can emerge as a key transit point for trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh,” he said.PM Modi also spoke of the bamboo trade that have plagued some farmers. The Bamboo which is the livelihood for lakhs of people of North East, has been under a very restrictive regulatory regime. Because of this, you cannot transport or sell the Bamboo produced in your own field without the permit. Our Government with an aim to reduce this pain, has changed the regulatory regime and now there will be no requirement of any permit or permission for producing, transporting and selling Bamboo and its products produced by farmers in their own fields,” the PM said.

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Five years of Nirbhaya case: DCW chief writes to PM on things remaining stagnant

Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal on Friday expressed the need to increase the punishment of rape cases of children to death penalty within six months of the crime. Maliwal wrote a detailed letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which she also stressed on the need to increase resources for police and forensic labs across the country.Mariwal’s letter to the prime minister comes on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the December 16 Delhi case in which a physiotherapy student was gang raped and murdered by a group of six people onboard a bus. The victim was accompanied by a friend who was also beaten up. Both of them were thrown out of the bus on the roadside.Maliwal also tweeted on the victim late Friday. “At the time of the incident, the nation cried for change, but in all this time things remain the same,” she said, further alleging that the money from the Nirbhaya fund that was established has not been used properly.”A report in UK’s The Guardian said that 24,923 rapes reported nationwide, 3,035 occurred in the large cities. “The number of reported rapes elsewhere in the country was more than seven times higher (despite some cases arguably going unreported) than the number of those reported in the main cities. But the police seem to be selective about what they investigate,” the report added.So why are so few rape cases reported? Studies suggest that women report crimes if female police officers are present. In March this year, the government admitted a shortage of women in the force, saying that only 7% of the total police strength in India comprised women.Secondly, the Indian police is short-staffed. A 2013 Indian Express report said that the rural police in the country did not even meet the 1960 standard, while a revelation in the Lok Sabha in 2016 showed that India was short of half a million police officers across the country.

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Col Ashok Kumar Tara, a 1971 hero, who saved a young Sheikh Hasina, recounts Bangladesh liberation war

A battle-hardened veteran, who was in the midst of heavy action in Dacca (now, Dhaka) during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Colonel (retired) Ashok Kumar Tara, is no stranger to limelight.During the war, Colonel Tara was told to rescue Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s wife and family, which included his 24-year-old daughter Sheikh Hasina (current prime minister of Bangladesh) and her child.The family was held hostage by a dozen trigger-happy, heavily armed Pakistani troops at a fortified house in the Dhanmondi area in East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh).Tara, then a 29-year-old Major, managed to rescue the Bangabandhu family, in a do-or-die situation as he himself puts.”During this operation I had to face trigger-happy, heavily-armed Pakistani forces, who just killed a media person who had tried to reach to them. I was alone. And unarmed. I took this bold decision to win over them psychologically, because asking an extra force would have taken a lot of time. I knew chances were very bleak, but I went ahead, in what can be known as ‘The Battle of Guts and Wits’,” Colonel Tara tells ANI.He added, “Reaching the house where Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s family was under housearrest, they threatened to kill me. Their commander even ordered his men to load the weapon and was ready to shoot, but I stood my ground and repeatedly told them to surrender. However, I gave them an assurance of safe passage, so that they could go to their HQ. And from there to Pakistan to meet their families waiting for them. I finally got them surrendered and rescued the family. This was a do-or-die situation.”Colonel Tara, who retired in 1994, had already been awarded the Vir Chakra in the Battle of Gangasagar a few days ago.Elaborating on the above-mentioned battle, he said, “It was a railway station in East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh) opposite Agartala (in Tripura). It was an attack in file formation along the railway lines and was ‘Hand To Hand’, ‘Bunker to Bunker’. The battle went for about two hours. During the attack, I had to use maltove cocktail (patrol bomb), threw a hand grenade and pulled enemy medium machine gun from a bunker to destroy the enemy. For this, I was awarded the Vir Chakra.”Colonel Tara got recognition for his valour in 2012, when Dhaka announced it was conferring the ‘Friend of Bangladesh’ Award to him.Indira Gandhi, India’s Prime Minister in 1971, was conferred the award in her time.Earlier this year, Colonel Tara featured with Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the “Sommanona Ceremony” in New Delhi to honour the 1971 war martyrs.

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Shiv Sena MLA’s name figures in farm loan-waiver beneficiary list

Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Abitkar has claimed he was named as a beneficiary of the farm loan waiver in the Kolhapur District Central Cooperative Bank, even though he had not applied for it. He has got a loan waiver of Rs 25,000 from the bank.This has come just a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the scheme was being implemented smoothly. He told the state legislative assembly on Thursday that his government had committed some ‘mistakes’ while implementing the Rs 34,022-crore farm loan waiver scheme, but has fixed all these issues.Abitkar, an MLA from Radhanagari in Kolhapur district, has got the benefit of Maharashtra Government’s loan waiver scheme for drought-affected farmers.Also readOver 1200 farmers committed suicide in 5 months: Maharashtra govtThe Shiv Sena MLA has raised the issue citing faulty implementation of the loan waiver scheme and demanded an inquiry into this flawed inclusion as the rules bar any existing or former elected representative from getting benefit under the scheme.He said, “I was stunned when I came to know that my name appeared in the green list of loan waiver beneficiaries. I was shocked again when I got more details about the list of my (Kolhapur) area. I had not even applied or registered my name anywhere to get the waiver.”The Opposition is directly blaming Fadnavis for this as the Chief Minister Office (CMO) had been working on the data of the beneficiaries of this scheme through information and technology department of Maharashtra.Also readMadhya Pradesh farmer ends life after notice for power bill of over Rs 9,000

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Jaipur: Experts to unveil cop’s murder case

The police has arrested three people Tejaram, Vidhya Devi, Sugna Devi but the absconding Nathuram Jat accused in the case of the shooting police inspector S Periapandian of Maduravoyal police station in Chennai on a lime kiln located in Ramawas village of Jaitaran, Here, the FSL team and the Ballistic expert reached the spot and examined the crime scene. The team investigated that if Nathuram Jat snatched the revolver of the police inspector intentionally shot him or accidentally fired on Periapandian. It is worth mentioning that the service revolver of Inspector Periapandian and the other CI PM Munishekhar’s service revolver was handed to the state forensic laboratory yesterday.The Chennai team previously told that Periapandian was killed by Nathuram but the Pali Police had feared that Periapandian was shot due to the team’s mistake. The Joint Commissioner of Chennai police, Santosh Kumar, also reached Jaitran. He got full details of the incident from Jaitaran CI Virendra Singh and CI PM Munishekhar of Chennai Police. Pali Superintendent of Police Deepak Bhargava told that The scientific investigation of the firing during the capture of the accused and the death of Chennai Police Inspector Periapandian has started. The Pali Police has handed over the arms of both inspectors to State Forensic Laboratory so that it can be ascertained as to what pistol the bullet was from and from how much distance it was fired.Forensic and Ballistic Expert also started the investigation this morning.Three police teams were mobilized under the leadership of police officers Jatran, Anandpur Kalu and Ras Thanprabhari is in search of the accused. The teams have searched hotels and highway motels near Jaitaran. The accused reportedly pulled out Pandi’s revolver from the holster and shot at him. Jat managed to get away. Search operationThe railway stations and bus stands of Beawer, Ajmer, Jaipur, and Pali were also searched. Jaipur Airport was also searched due to the possibility of escaping of the accused from the airplane to Chennai-Bangaluru.

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Supreme Court won’t interfere in Gujarat counting

The Supreme Court rejected on Friday a Congress petition that had sought directions to the Election Commission to match 25 per cent of all EVM ballots with voter slips printed by Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines used in the Gujarat Assembly elections. Counting of votes will be taken up in the state on Monday.A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra found no merit in the plea by Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal who represented the Congress.The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, observed that it could not interfere with the poll panel’s exercise of power. Electoral process in a democracy is of utmost importance and could not be interfered with to simply allay apprehensions of a party, the bench noted.Singhvi said that plea was not against EVMs per se. “…but now that you have VVPAT with all machines, we want the sampling of voting on EVMs with the VVPAt trail be done in at least 10-15% cases if not 25%.”The top court’s move comes a day after the Congress accused the poll panel of being the “puppet” of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). A day before the final phase of polling in Gujarat, the Election Commission cracked the whip on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and certain television channels on Wednesday. They had aired his interviews even after the end of campaigning.The BJP and the Congress traded charges against each other for trying to influence the voters in the mandatory no-campaign period.Within hours of the filing of three complaints by the BJP, the EC served a showcase notice to Rahul and ordered FIR against certain Gujarati television channels.The EC asked Rahul to explain by December 18 why he violated the poll code of no campaign within 48 hours of the conclusion of the final day of polling.The EC also instructed the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to stop the display of such matter in districts going to the polls on December 14.Following the EC’s step, the Congress reacted sharply and called it partisan. The party demanded from the EC that an FIR be filed against BJP leaders. At the EC’s doorstep, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described it as an attempt to strangle the press.”In 2014 Mr Modi had given a television interview just a day before the polling, and on the day of polling, he had even displayed the BJP symbol, but EC did not act then. On December 8, a day before the first phase, the BJP finance minister released the manifesto but EC did not issue a show cause,” he said.In his first interview, Rahul said the “BJP is not scared of him but of the voice of Gujarat.””In the last three months, I have just raised the voice of Gujarat. They are not scared of me. They are scared of the voice of Gujarat. This election is not about Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi. This is about the voice of Gujarat,” Rahul told TV channels.He also accused the BJP of distorting his image by putting huge money.”There was no (image) makeover. BJP workers used money to distort the reality of Rahul Gandhi… a lot of money was put into this,” said Rahul.

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Amit Shah makes his RS debut

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah began his parliamentary debut on Friday — the first day of Winter Session. Walking in just minutes before the proceedings began; he was greeted by treasury benches. The camaraderie conventionally attached to new entrants who are greeted across the aisle, however, was missing.After walking in, he was led to occupy a seat in the front row on the treasury bench side. This seat was earlier held by M Venkaiah Naidu, who was elected Vice-President during the last Monsoon Session. He is now the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.Shah was elected to the Upper House in August. Members of the treasury benches, including Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and I&B Minister Smriti Irani, clapped to welcome Shah. BJP MPs stood up to welcome him as Shah greeted them.After he took the seat, some members from treasury benches walked up to him to greet him. The bitterness that has cropped between the treasury benches and the Opposition was palpable as no one from Opposition benches greeted Shah.A special seating arrangement has been made for Shah. He has been allotted the aisle seat right next to the two-seat bench shared by Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Normally, first time MPs are given back benches. The seating arrangement in the House also speaks about the clout of its members.Shah shares his bench with Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan and Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. This front row block is next to bench allocated to AIADMK and TMC leaders, which were earlier occupied by Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, and BSP’s Mayawati till the last session.In the new sitting arrangement now the JD-U members have been moved near treasury benches.

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Mumbai: Government, Opposition at loggerheads over Shiv Jayanti at state assembly

The state assembly witnessed uproars with members from both Opposition and the Treasury benches rushing to the Well of the House when a BJP MLA raised the issue of birth date of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It was BJP MLA Suresh Halwankar who raised the issue soon after the question hour. Raising the issue through point of propriety, Halwankar said that despite the fact that Shivaji Maharaj is revered to every person of Maharashtra, his birth anniversary is celebrated on two different days. Halwankar said that state Government should decide it for once and all by appointing a committee of expert historians so that birth anniversary is celebrated on a single day through out the state. Soon Halwankar raised the issue, NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad and Veerendra Jagtap objected to it and rushed to the Well of the House. Ajit Pawar, Dilip Walase-Patil and leader of Opposition in state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil also rose from their seats and Vikhe-Patil demanded removal of Halwankar’s remarks from the proceedings of the House.It was senior MLA Yogesh Sagar who was in the Chair but soon after pandemonium, Speaker Haribhau Bagade took charge and maintained that Halwankar’s remarks would not be removed from the proceedings. Avhad and Nitesh Rane said that the state would not tolerate any insult to Shivaji Maharaj and Halwankar was trying to create yet another controversy. Walse-Patil and Vikhe-Patil said that raising such issues would result in fomenting communal tension. MLAs from both the sides rushed to the Well of the House and started giving slogans. Members were in the Well of the House for almost 15 minutes and House could not transact any business during this time. It was Ajit Pawar who made a brief speech and said that Halwankar has expressed his views and Speaker has made it clear that every member has right to express his opinion, he has done it. Pawar said, `every year Chief Minister of the state pays his tribute to Shivaji Maharaj on February 19’th, the birth anniversary which was decided by an expert’s committee appointed by Government. If Halwankar has any issue, he can talk to Chief Minister since Halwankar is a BJP member. But I appeal everyone not to raise issues which would lead to controversy.’Speaking to media persons outside state assembly Halwankar alleged that committee was appointed during the tenure of Chief Minister Manohar Joshi but Congress-NCP Government which came to power started celebrating Shiv Jayanti on February 19’th. He said that there was no consensus among the historians on the issue of accurate birth date of Shivaji Maharaj and there are people who celebrate birth anniversary on April 8’th since they believe that birth date of Shivaji Maharaj falls on April 8’th, 1627. Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu made it clear that Shiv Sena would continue to celebrate Shiv Jayanti on his birth date as per Hindu calendar.

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Delhi HC denies interim stay on Sharad Yadav’s disqualification as MP

The Delhi High Court today refused to pass an interim order on a plea for a stay on former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav’s disqualification as a Rajya Sabha member.Justice Vibhu Bakhru, however, allowed Yadav to draw allowances, perks and retain his bungalow as an MP, but restrained him from attending the Winter Session of Parliament. The session, which started today, is scheduled to go on till January 5. The court also sought the response of the Rajya Sabha chairman besides member Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, who is leader of the JD(U) in the Upper House, on Yadav’s plea challenging December 4 order of the chairman disqualifying him as an MP.The court has fixed the main petition for hearing on March 1 next year. The order came on Yadav’s plea challenging his disqualification on several grounds, including that he was not given a hearing before the December 4 order was passed. Yadav had sought interim relief to attend the Parliament session

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Winter session of Parliament: Amit Shah gets royal welcome from BJP MPs on first day in Rajya Sabha

BJP president Amit Shah today made his parliamentary debut, occupying a front row seat in the Rajya Sabha on the opening day of the winter session.Shah, 53, who was elected to the Upper House of Parliament in August, walked in just minutes before the proceedings began. Members of the treasury benches, including several ministers, stood up to welcome him. Some thumped desks and others clapped as a smiling Shah greeted them with folded hands. He then went straight to his assigned seat in the front row.Shah has been allocated the aisle seat right next to the two-seat block were Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi sit. Rajya Sabha members sit in a semi-circle, facing the Chair. The semi-circle is divided into six blocks of seats separated by aisles. The ruling side is seated on the one side of the semi- circle and the principal opposition party, Congress on the other. Other parties including allies of the ruling party or those in the opposition occupy the middle blocks.Also readWatch: Pained by falsehood and canards spread by PM Modi, says Manmohan; Amit Shah hits back Jaitley and Modi have seats in the front row of the first block. Shah has been allotted the seat in the next block where he has the company of Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan and Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. When Shah walked in ministers including Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, HRD Minister Prakash Javedkar and I&B Minister Smriti Irani thumped and clapped to welcome him.After he was seated, some members walked up to him to greet him.Also readWinter Session of Parliament begins, Congress seeks PM Modi’s apology over Pakistan remarkThe seat allotted to Shah was previously occupied by M Venkaiah Naidu, who after being elected Vice President in August is now the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The front row seats in the block next of his has AIADMK and TMC leaders.The seats in the next block used to be occupied by Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), rebel JD-U leader Sharad Yadav and BSP’s Mayawati till the last session. However, with the CPI(M) deciding against giving Yechury a third term, his seat is now occupied by his fellow-comrade T K Rangarajan. While JD-U members have moved near treasury benches since Nitish Kumar broke ranks with Lalu Prasad’s RJD and joined the NDA, its rebel leader Sharad Yadav has been disqualified. The BSP supremo quit the Rajya Sabha in July, complaining that her voice was being muzzled. After her resignation, her seat has been given her confidante and BSP leader Satish Mishra

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India cabinet backs bill to criminalise Islamic instant divorce

The bill proposes jail of up to three years for a Muslim man who indulges in “triple talaq”.

No show on Day 1 of Winter Session as RS and LS adjourned

The proceedings of the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Winter Session were adjourned today after the House paid tributes to three sitting and seven former members who died during the inter-session period.Rajya Sabha also adjourned for the day as uproar by Cong members continued. Opposition leaders protested the rejection of their notice in the Rajya Sabha demanding an explanation and apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “conspiracy with Pakistan” remark involving his predecessor Manmohan Singh.The House would now meet on Monday.Also readWinter Session of Parliament begins, Congress seeks PM Modi’s apology over Pakistan remarkAs soon as the House assembled, newly-elected Congress member from Gurdaspur Sunil Kumar Jakhar was administered the oath, which he took in Punjabi.Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Jakhar with a handshake when the former greeted him with folded hands after taking oath.Also readManmohan Singh meets Venkaiah Naidu on eve of Parliament sessionThe Gurdaspur bypoll was necessitated following the demise of BJP member and cine star Vinod Khanna.After the oath of the new member, Modi introduced new ministers to the House. These included Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman who were elevated as Cabinet ministers in the September 3 rejig of the council of ministers.The new faces are ministers of state (independent charge) R K Singh, Hardeep Puri, K J Alphonse and ministers of state Shiv Pratap Shukla, Virendra Kumar, Ananth Hegde, Gajendra Shekhawat and Satyapal Singh.Making obituary references, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan informed members that three sitting Lok Sabha MPs — Sultan Ahmed (TMC), Chand Nath (BJP) and Tasleem Uddin (RJD) had passed away recently.Seven other former members — Vikram Mahajan, Ram Singh, R Keishing, P C Barman, Dhanraj Singh, Amal Datta and Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi also died during the inter-session period.The House was also introduced to the new Secretary General, Snehlata Shrivastava, who took over on December 1. A former IAS officer, she is the first woman Secretary General of the Lok Sabha.Before the proceedings began, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met leaders of various parties.When the Prime Minister entered the House, he greeted the members from the opposition benches with a ‘namaste’ and bowing his head.Rajya Sabha also adjourned for the day as uproar by Cong members continued. Opposition leaders today protested the rejection of their notice in the Rajya Sabha demanding an explanation and apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “conspiracy with Pakistan” remark involving his predecessor Manmohan Singh.The leaders termed the comment “unfortunate” and told reporters outside the House it was “disappointing” that Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow a discussion on the notice.They also objected to the “illegal disqualification” of rebel Janata Dal (United) leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari.In place of Yadav and Ansari, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar should be disqualified for breaking away from the grand alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, they said.”We gave a notice, but the chairman adjourned the House and did not let us raise the issue. We are disappointed. The chairman should have given us permission. This is a national… International issue,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.At an election rally in Gujarat on Sunday, Modi had suggested that Pakistan was trying to influence the state assembly polls.He had claimed that some Pakistani officials and Manmohan Singh met at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house over dinner on December 6.Azad said the prime minister should come to the Rajya Sabha and explain his remarks to its members.His party colleague Anand Sharma, Naresh Agarwal of the SP and D Raja of the CPI said the people concerned should be punished if the allegations levelled by Modi were true.”But if it is false, if he levelled such a big allegation to polarise the people in view of the Gujarat polls, then he should apologise not only to the House but also to the people of the country,” Azad said.Raja said it was “not correct” on Modi’s part to cast aspersions on Singh.The CPI national secretary said Modi should have called up his predecessor if he had any information on the “conspiracy” issue.”He should have done it, but the way he raised the issue in an election campaign… It is highly objectionable. It is not good for democracy,” Raja said, asking the government to respect the Opposition.Sharma said it was “undemocratic” that the Opposition’s voice was being “muzzled”.He said the prime minister was “aware” of the notice and could have “used the opportunity to clarify his remarks, express regret and apologise”.”But the prime minister and the dispensation are arrogant and confrontational. And this is most unfortunate. This attitude does not augur well for democracy. It is an ominous development on the first day itself,” Sharma said.

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Maha govt should remove anomalies in loan waiver list: Sena MLA after name appears in list of beneficiaries

A Shiv Sena MLA announced that he is a loan waiver beneficiary in what is a shock to the state government.Sena MLA Prakash Abitkar made the announcement during zero hour of the state assembly when Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that an online loan waiver system would ensure no wrong person could avail loan.Abitkar’s revealed that his name appeared in the list of beneficiaries and that the government should remove anomalies in the list of beneficiaries. He also pointed out that two teachers from his constituency were also listed in the people who would get a loan waiver.In September, Fadnavis announced the Rs 34,000-crore loan waiver scheme, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana and said that 89 lakh farmers would benefit.So far, 1,00,85,326 farmers have registered themselves with the government for loan waiver. Of these, 55,40,732 have filled the required form and uploaded it on the government’s website.

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NGT bans sale of plastic items along Ganga belt from Haridwar up to Rishikesh

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday announced that it would be imposing a ban on the sale, purchase and storage of plastic items such as bags, plates, spoons, etc along river Ganga in Haridwar’s Hari Ki Puri Rishikesh up to areas in Uttarkashi.As per an ANI report, a Rs 5,000 fine will be imposed on violators.On March 30, the chairperson had directed that a meeting be held after the UP government informed the Tribunal about its willingness to discuss the scenario of shifting tanneries outside Kanpur. This is contrary to the stand of the previous government, under Samajwadi Party, which had submitted through former advocate general Vijay Bahadur Singh that paucity of land and dependence of lakhs on the tannery cluster made shifting difficult.A year after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged his ministerial colleagues and three chief ministers to adopt an “uncompromising mission-mode approach” to halt pollution of River Ganga. Already in January this year, the PM had directed the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation ministry to prioritise pollution control and taking remedial steps. But, on ground, the progress has been rather slow and effluent treatment plants have still been found wanting.In the key stretch of Ganga, between Haridwar and Kanpur, 30 drains are directly discharging 701 million litres/day (MLD) of waste water in the Ganga, a recent report of the Central Pollution Control Board has said. The report also highlighted that barring three of the 30 drains, all other drains directly releasing effluents into Ganga indicate the presence of pesticides. Also, four drains of Kanpur carried a high concentration of Chromium, ranging from 2mg/l to 84 mg/l. “It has been observed that Ganga receives 3,048MLD of waste water,” the report said.CPCB, the country’s pollution watchdog, submitted a ground report of these 30 drains on the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT had ordered last October that the drains in the Hardiwar-Kanpur stretch directly releasing effluents into Ganga needed to be physically inspected to record the quantum and quality of effluents going into the river and its main tributaries.Along with the Ganga, the joint inspection team, comprising of CPCB, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), UP Jal Nigam, and National Mission for Clean Ganga, inspected 25 drains discharging effluents into Ramganga of which a majority release domestic wastewater into the river while 26 drains release effluents into Kali-east.The direct discharge of effluents from 30 drains has resulted in high levels of fecal coliform, above the CPCB prescribed standards. At Jajmau, a tannery hub in Kanpur, the fecal coliform was ten times higher than the prescribed standards.According to the report, disposal of industrial and domestic sewage effluent directly by drains or indirectly through tributaries is the chief cause for high levels of pollution. The storm water drains designated to flood out the storm water during rainy season, are now being used for disposal of sewage and trade effluents which ultimately joins River Ganga, the report added

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Winter Session of Parliament begins, Congress seeks PM Modi’s apology over Pakistan remark

Day after the final phase of Gujarat Assembly Elections, the Winter Session of Parliament will begin today.The session will witness a stormy start with the Congress demanding apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his Pakistan remark.During an election rally in his home state, PM Modi had alleged that former PM Manmohan Singh and other senior members of Congress were colluding with Pakistan for Gujarat Assembly polls.Talking to reporters, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said, “For the first time a Prime Minister has accused Former PM, former Vice President and diplomats of conspiring with Pakistan for Gujarat elections. PM must clarify in the Parliament.”Ahead of the session, PM Modi said that he expected a ‘fruitful session.” He also said that, “I hope for positive and innovative arguments.”Also readDay after Gujarat polls, Parliament’s Winter Session to begin todayOn Thursday also, after an all-party meeting, the Congress had demanded PM’s apology.Also readWinter Session: As Congress sulks over Pak allegations, PM seeks cooperation at all-party meet”Either the government should prove the claim or the Prime Minister must apologise… Nothing short of an apology will satisfy us,” Congress leader Anand Sharma had said.The BJP, however, has already rejected the demand. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in fact, termed the dinner at now-expelled Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence as a ‘political misadventure’.Interestingly, BJP president Amit Shah will make his Parliamentary debut in the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session today.The Winter Session will provide a total of 14 sittings spread over a period of 21 days including four Private Members’ days. Further, 25 Bills are pending in the Lok Sabha, while 39 Bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha

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Japanese tourist drugged, valuables stolen in Varanasi, as attacks on foreigners continues in UP

It’s not the best time to be a foreign tourist if you’re visiting Uttar Pradesh. In October this year, a Swiss couple was thrashed in Fathepur Sikhri near Agra. A few weeks later, a German national was beaten up by a man at a railway Station in Sonbhadra district a few days ago because he unintentionally ignored a man’s greeting. Four days ago, 11 French tourist were molested and assaulted in Mirzapur. And now the latest attack: a Japanese tourist was drugged and his valuables, including passport, were taken away from him in Varanasi.According to ANI, a case has been registered with the Varanasi police. The tourist says he was allegedly drugged before his valuables were stolen. “The culprit decamped with my belongings, including cash, camera, mobile, passport, visa and other documents’.A case has been registered against unknown persons.Also readFrench tourists assaulted in Mirzapur: Sushma Swaraj seeks report from UP government The attack on the tourist will also be an embarassment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been vocal about his friendship with Japan and its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe called Modi as a visionary leader and said that Indo-Japan partnership is special, strategic and global.Also readFortnight after attack on Swiss couple, German national beaten up in UP; accused arrested”Dear friend PM Modi is a far sighted leader. He made a decision of making New India and chose Japan as a partner, we completely support it. Japan is committed for ‘Make In India’,” he added.”If we merge Japan’s Ja and India’s I then it became ‘Jai’. If we work together nothing is impossible,” Abe said.Also readAttack on Swiss couple in UP: One person arrested near Rajasthan border; matter of shame, says culture minister Mahesh SharmaAttacks on foreign touristsEarlier this week, the group of French tourists was assaulted by a group of local boys in Ahraura area of Mirzapur. The injured tourists were shifted to the Mirzapur hospital for further treatment.The incident comes to light after a German national was beaten up by a man at a railway Station in Sonbhadra district a few days ago because he unintentionally ignored a man’s greeting.Also, a Swiss couple was thrashed at Fatehpur Sikri on October 26.The incident had sparked outrage with Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj and KJ Alphons seeking a report from the state government.While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had slammed the attack, he also ordered an inquiry.The Swiss couple, 24-year-old Quentin Jeremy Clerc and Marie Droze, were attacked near the railway station at Fatehpur Sikri by a a group of boys. The locals started chasing them and harassing them. They insisted they wanted to take selfies with Marie. When the couple refused, they rained stones and sticks on Jeremy. Marie too wasn’t spared in the brutal attack.

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Promotion, shuffle of police officers on cards in new year

State government will promote 27 police officers on the New Year. There will be three ADG, four IG and 20 DIG. Home department and police authorities have completed their homework and the list could be out on the eve of the New Year.As per information, three IG rank officers will become ADG, four DIG will be promoted to IG and 20 SP rank officials will get promotion to DIG rank. It is being learnt that the government is going to shuffle police force at top level in a big way. Those who are going to be promoted along with those who would get key responsibilities in election year will be part of the transfer list.Among them there are officers who are supposed to get new postings because they have been occupying same post even after promotion. An important change could be in Jaipur commissionerate. Around one dozen SPs in districts are likely to be changed including those promoted from RPS to IPS. Buzz is that the new DGP O P Galhotra is working on creating a new team. Talented officers would be sent to different districts keeping elections in mind.This year Govind Gupta, Sunil Dutt and Amrit Kalash would be promoted from IG to ADG.Three officers, Lata Manoj, Jyoti Gogoi and Umesh Dutta would be promoted from DIG to IG rank. All three are currently posted in the CBI. Since they are out of state their promotion will be on notional or performa basis.20 officers would also be included in the list who will be promoted as DIG from the post of SP. The names are Ravi Dutt Gaur, Gaurav Srivastava, Sharad Kaviraj, S Parimala, Santosh Kumar Tukaram, Omprakash I, KV Vandana, Vikas Kumar, Satyaveer Singh, Deepak Kumar, UN Chanwal, Rajesh Kumar Meena, Sanjay Shotriya, Mahmood Alam Tarik, Surendra Kumar Gupta, Dilip Kumar, Lalit Kumar Maheshwari, Prassan Kumar Khamesra, Laxman Gaur and Bharat Lal Meena.Election on mindGovernment is going to shuffle police force at top level in a big way. Those who are going to be promoted along with those who would get key responsibilities in election year will be part of the transfer list. Among them there are officers who are supposed to get new postings as they have been occupying same post even after promotion.

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During 1947, leadership was influenced by western ideology: Suresh Joshi

The number two leader of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Suresh (Bhaiya JI) Joshi said that the development model adopted in the country after independence is not our model. This is a foreign model. After independence, the leadership of the then country was influenced by western ideology.Bhaiya Ji was addressing the lecture organised on the topic “Relevance of Ekatma-manavvad (integral humanism)”. Joshi said that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay has done the task of keeping basic thinking in front of the society, and that is what we know as integral humanism.The country became independent, but we could not distinguish between the Suraj and the Swaraj. Therefore, the need for remembering those great men once again was needed. Pandit Upadhyay placed this thought in front of everyone. An opportunity came in 1947. Considering all the development plans taken on the basis of contemplation of Western thought could have been the matter of adding to the original stream. But unfortunately, this country’s leadership of that time was influenced by western ideas and western education. Considering the development model which was going in the world that time, it was accepted in the country also. From the legal point of view, India emerged as an independent country, but our country did not run independently nor did it run on its ideology. There was an opportunity in 1947 which we lost. Following west became our destinyExpressing his concern over environmental damage due to modernity and industrialization, Joshi said that we have to work for the reconstruction of the environment. The more you take, the same should be taken from nature.On this occasion, Mahesh Chandra Sharma, President of Ekatm-Manvvad Research and Development Institute, said that the path Independent India should follow was shown by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. DIGNITARIES PRESENT DURING EVENTChief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University Prof RK. Kothari, RSS leader Durgadas and Nimbaram and other dignitaries were also present during the occasion. Expressing his concern over environmental damage due to modernity and industrialization, Joshi said that we have to work for the reconstruction of the environment.

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Foundation of projects worth crores today

Union minister for Road Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari is expected to lay foundation stones and inaugurate road works worth Rs727 crores in a programme at Baran district on Friday. Foundation laying ceremony of Parwan Irrigation project envisaged to provide water to 2 lakh hectare land in Hadoti region may also mark in the same program which will be chaired by the chief minister Vasundhara Raje.The desert state takes a big leap in infrastructure whenever Gadkari visits. Almost three months back, Prime minister Narendra Modi and Gadkari came to Udaipur and the former inaugurated highway and road projects worth Rs15,000 crore for the entire state. At that time, a major announcement was made by Gadkari to boost Rajasthan infra while spending around Rs2 trillion in the next five years for building the road and national highways in Rajasthan.With his focus, Rajasthan rolls with infra projects, and those big projects which were limbo for several years. One of such big projects is Parwan irrigation project, which will do away water needs in three districts-Baran, Jhalawar and Kota. Gadkari may lay the foundation stone of the project.Rajasthan expects financial assistance from the center to speed up works in the project that costs nearly Rs6489 crores. Raje, in several meetings, discussed it and Gadkari gave assurance as well. Parwan project, the project got embroiled in several controversies regarding displacement of tribals, the forests land getting submerged and most important, the project is brought in only to benefit two thermal power projects. According to the sources, Gadkari has scheduled visit to Baran to lay foundation stone, though final consent is still awaited.

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Rajasthan to give financial aid to mums, pregnant women

Given that many women do not visit Anganwadi centres for antenatal check-ups for fear of losing on a day's wage, the government rolled out the PMMVY scheme. "We see that financial loss matters more to them compared to health, So there was a need to compensate their financial loss in order to motivate them to visit Anganwadi or health centres," Manoj Jain, Additional Director (Nutrition) at Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) said.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByAmit Bhatt <!–end of artlbotbor–>Friday 15 December 2017 2:40 ISTMust readSec 144 imposed at Udaipur, net, social media muzzledNGC gears up: Solar energy of ‘Thar’ to illuminate Gujarat & Punjab<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Rajasthan Women and Child Development Department has rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) under which all pregnant women and lactating mothers in the state will get financial aid during their first pregnancy.Beneficiaries will get Rs 5,000 in three instalments — first during the early registration of pregnancy, second after six months on at least one antenatal check-up, and the last one during the first cycle of the child’s immunisation.Given that many women do not visit Anganwadi centres for antenatal check-ups for fear of losing on a day’s wage, the government rolled out the PMMVY scheme. “We see that financial loss matters more to them compared to health, So there was a need to compensate their financial loss in order to motivate them to visit Anganwadi or health centres,” Manoj Jain, Additional Director (Nutrition) at Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) said.

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Manmohan Singh meets Venkaiah Naidu on eve of Parliament session

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday called on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.Singh met Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, on the eve of the winter session of Parliament.Naidu tweeted about the meeting.Singh is a Congress Rajya Sabha member from Assam.Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Singh of colluding with Pakistan to ensure the BJP’s defeat in the Gujarat assembly polls.Singh hit back at Modi for allegedly spreading “falsehood and canards” to “score political points in a lost cause”.The opposition parties are likely to raise the issue in Parliament.

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As Gujarat campaign progressed, we saw complete bankruptcy in BJP: Rahul Gandhi in Kerala

The Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi today hit out at the BJP, saying the saffron’s party “complete bankruptcy” was exposed during campaigning for the Gujarat assembly polls.”As the campaign progressed, we saw complete bankruptcy in BJP. They diverted from one issue to another,” Gandhi said at a function here in connection with the centenary celebrations of late RSP leader Baby John.Taking potshots, Gandhi said “first they (BJP) talked about Narmada, followed by OBCs and then they moved to ‘vikas’ and eventually we saw a spectacle.”Targeting Narendra Modi, Gandhi said “In the last 3-4 days of the campaign, all that was left for the prime minister was to talk about himself and insult the previous prime minister (Manmohan Singh) of this country. That is all they have,” he said.Expressing confidence about his party’s good performance in Gujarat’s two-phased polls that ended today, Gandhi said “we are going to defeat these forces.””These forces are not going to stand in front of us. The foundation of these forces is actually extremely weak. They have inherited marketing muscle and money. So they have very loud voice. But the voice is hollow,” he said.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | BJP’s attempts to create distractions won’t work this time, says Rahul GandhiHe charged the BJP-RSS with trying to divide people on lines of caste and religion.Gandhi also said they were trying to get a foothold in Kerala. “It is our duty to fight these forces not only in Kerala but also in the country,” he said.The congress leader said after spending time with people of Gujarat, they told him that the last 22 years (of BJP rule) “have been a lie.””The labourers and farmers and women have been forgotten. Health care system has been destroyed and there was a tremendous upsurge against the ideas of BJP in Gujarat itself,” he claimed.Gandhi said the Congress worked unitedly on the basic issues of the people of Gujarat.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress files anticipatory complaint with EC against PM Modi’s ‘roadshow’

The chief electoral officer in Gujarat BB Swain said that the Congress party’s Gujarat unit had filed an anticipatory complaint with the EC against Narendra Modi’s roadshow in Ranip area of Sabarmati constituency.Modi is a voter registered in Sabarmati constituency and on the day of second phase polls, Modi held a roadshow in a car and on feet after casting his vote. Thousands of people had turned up to welcome Modi and Congress complained that PM tried to influence the voters by the roadshow.Swain said, “We received the complaint from Congress at around 11:55am and that was anticipatory complaint seeking actions to stop the road show. They had a doubt that PM could hold a road show when thousands of people turned up near the polling station where he was to cast his vote. We have issued order to District Election Officer(collector) in Ahmedabad to run a probe and we will also check the facts with Model Code of Conduct committee that keeps vigil on the spot. We will also assess the video footages.”Also readGujarat elections 2017: ‘Modi, Modi’ chants and 500-metre walk – When PM Narendra Modi stood in queue to cast his vote The Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav, however, slammed Congress over the issue and said, “Congress is making foul cry on the issue as they have conceded to loss. There is no indication that Congress can make comeback in Gujarat and they also now knew that. This is the reason why they are creating ruckus on this issue. BJP is going to form a government in Gujarat with more than 150 seats in Gujarat assembly.”On the other side, the complaints of Bluetooth network traced near the polling stations also were received from many places across the areas where polls are going on. Incidents were reported at different polling stations in Ahmedabad, Kheda, Panchmahals, Patan, Mehsana and Banaskantha districts.Also readGujarat elections 2017 LIVE updates: Various incidents of clashes reported; row over PM’s ‘roadshow’ The election commission has directed the district election officers to investigate the issue with the technical experts of Bharat Electronics Limited.”We have asked our officials to run the probe and the reports from Ghatlodia constituency and Godhara have come. In both the cases, mobile device having promiscuous names were found in the range of polling station creating misunderstanding. We are waiting for other reports and will report to election commission about the incident,” Swain said.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Video shows BJP workers gifting sarees, ‘buying’ votesThe incident of Ghatlodia constituency in Ahmedabad and Godhra seat in Panchmahals were investigated by the election officers and technical experts. In the incident of Ghatlodia, mobile device of Intex company having model name ECO105 was found while in the case of Godhra, the mobile device of Lava company having model name ARC-05 was found.The EC also received two complaints of clashes in state and those were in Hasanpura village near Visnagar town of Mehsana district and in Savli town of Vadodara district. The CEO informed that in both the cases, the situation was brought under control by the security staff and it didn’t affect the poll process.

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Gujarat elections 2017: ‘Modi, Modi’ chants and 500-metre walk – When PM Narendra Modi stood in queue to cast his vote

Amid loud cheers and ‘Modi, Modi’ chants, it was a grand homecoming for Prime Minister Narendra as he visited Sabarmati’s Ranip to cast his vote in the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections on Thursday.Hundreds of voters lined up on both sides of the roads leading up to the booth number 115 in Ranip area to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister.Smiling and waving to the crowd, PM Modi stood in the queue to cast his vote. Later, he walked around 500 metre right outside the polling booth to his cavalcade showing his inked finger to the loud cheers. Many were seen clicking photos of the Prime Minister.The Congress has termed the walk as a ‘roadshow’ and called it a breach of the poll codes. Addressing the media, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala slammed the Prime Minister. Another party leader Ashok Gehlot said that ‘the Election Commission it seems is working under pressure from PM and PMO.”There are reports that the poll panel will look into the allegations made by the Congress. Earlier in the day, senior-most BJP leaders were seen casting their votes in the second phase of Gujarat elections.The biggies include BJP president Amit Shah, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and LK Advani.After an acrimonious campaign, voting for the second and final phase of the Gujarat assembly elections is under way today in 93 seats in North and Central Gujarat.Around 2.22 crore voters are eligible to exercise franchise today to choose between the two main contenders, the BJP and the Congress.A total of 851 candidates are in the fray for the second phase.The first phase of voting, held on December 9, covered 89 seats of the 182-member House.The election is being seen as a “prestige battle” for Prime Minister Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi.In the 2012 Assembly polls, the BJP won 115 seats while the Congress bagged 61. The votes will be counted on December 18.

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As Gujarat votes for grand finale, Sabarmati waits for its star voter – PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Sabarmati today, but not as an election campaigner but as a voter exercising his franchise.As Gujarat votes for the final phase of the Assembly elections today, Sabarmati’s Ranip locality is gearing up for its star voter.PM Modi, who earlier today, dedicated INS Kalvari at the Gateway of India in Mumbai is expected to reach Sabarmati somewhere around noon.Apart from the Prime Minister, other big names who cast their votes in the second phase were BJP President Amit Shah, senior party leader LK Advani, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.”(PM) Modiji will cast his vote at a poll booth in the Nishan High School in Ranip locality of Sabarmati. (LK) Advani will cast his vote at the Hindi School poll booth in Khanpur and (Arun) Jaitley at the Chimanbhai Institute in S G Highway,” a BJP release said.The second phase voting is underay in central and north Gujarat. Over 2 crore voters are cating their ballot to decide the fate of 851 candidates in the fray for 93 seats across 14 districts in the state.

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Strict action against those who have delayed Mumbai University results: Vinod Tawde

Maharashtra state education minister Vinod Tawde on Thursday announced that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for delaying the Mumbai University results.Tawde was responding to a call to attention motion moved by several state leaders, including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Varsha Gaikwad, Abu Azmi, Ajit Pawar and Amit Deshmukh.NCP’s Ajit Pawar asked if action would be taken against ministers or whether it would be restricted to the vice chancellor only, even ask MoS Ravindra Waikar gave details of the chronology of events that led to the delay of results.Meanwhile, Vikhe Patil asked whether government would file criminal ase against vice-chanellor.

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Gujarat elections 2017: PM Modi’s mother Heeraben casts her vote in Gandhinagar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben cast her vote at a polling booth in Gandhinagar as the voting for the second phase of Gujarat Assembly elections began today.Former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has cast her vote in Ahmedabad’s Ghatlodia.BJP’s Bhupendra Patel is up against Congress’s Shashikant Patel on this seat.The voting will continue till 5 pm in more than 25,000 polling stations.In the second and final phase of elections today, 93 constituencies spread across 14 districts in north and central Gujarat are going to the polls.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 LIVE UPDATES: Polling for second phase underway, 7% turnout recorded till 9 amA total of 851 candidates are in the fray and over 2.22 lakh people will take part in the election to decide their fate.The security has been increased in various parts of the state in the wake of the polls.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | In Behrampura, lack of parking near polling booths pushes people away from votingThe BJP has fielded 93 candidates for this phase, while Congress has fielded only 91.Prime Minister Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will also visit their constituencies to cast their votes.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Crimes on the rise ahead of Phase 2 in AhmedabadThe voter turnout in the first phase of the polls was 68 per cent.Meanwhile, repolling will be held tomorrow in two booths of Jamjodhpur constituency, two booths in Una, one in Nijjar, and one in Umargam.The results will be declared on December 18.In the 2012 assembly polls, the BJP won 115 seats, while the Congress bagged 61.

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PM Modi inaugurates INS Kalvari; dedicates it to the people of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Mumbai today (i.e. Thursday), inaugurated INS Kalvari at Gateway of India.INS Kalvari is a diesel-electric attack submarine that has been built for the Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited. “It is the first of six such submarines that will be inducted into the Indian Navy, and represents a significant success for Make In India,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted after the inauguration.The Indian Navy, too, shared some images, calling the submarine a ‘deadly predator’.Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy. The submarines have been designed by a French firm.The remaining five boats of the Project 75 would be delivered by the yard to the Navy by 2020. India has just 15 submarines, a mix of Russian-origin Kilo class vessels and German HDW submarines..The name “Kalvari” translates to “Tiger Shark.” The new boat was built under the “Project 75” initiative to help bring more indigenous military building programs to India.Kalvari can carry 18 torpedoes and travel 1,020 km underwater. The 66-metre submarine can dive up to a depth of 300 metres to elude enemy detection.This Scorpene submarine is designed to operate in all theatres of war, including the tropics.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 LIVE UPDATES: Polling for second phase begins, fate of 93 seats to be decided today

Voting has begun in the second and final phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017. Over two crore voters are casting their ballots to seal the fate of 851 candidates contesting for 93 seats across 14 districts in Gujarat. The results of the polls in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state would be declared on December 18.8:39 am: Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain is among the early voters to cast their ballots. Swain appealed the people to vote in large numbers.8:33 am: PM Modi’s mother Heeraben arrives to cast her vote at a polling booth in GandhinagarAlso readGujarat elections 2017: With 16 seats, Ahmedabad holds key to Gujarat’s throne8:27 am: Former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel casts her vote in Ahmedabad’s GhatlodiaAlso readGujarat elections 2017: Crimes on the rise ahead of Phase 2 in Ahmedabad8:23 am: Voters show their inked fingers after casting their ballots in Patidaar leader Hardik Patel’s home town ViramgamAlso readGujarat elections 2017: ‘Dhandha manda hai’, cry campaign material makers ahead of second phase8:14 am: With hope and prayer on lips: Influential Patidaar leader Hardik Patel’s parents seen at their house offering prayers8:09 am: In early reports, a technical glitch has been reported in an EVM during mock poll at booth number 158 located in Patan’s Anand Prakash School.8:00 am: Voting for 93 seats begin.7:55 am: Poll Fact: Which are the smallest and largest constituencies by area and by electorate:7:45 am: Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi also appealed voters both in Hindi and Gujarati to vote in maximum numbers to strengthen the foundation of democracy:7:37 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to urge voters to ‘vote in record numbers and enrich this festival of democracy.’7:35 am: Early visuals of polling booth in Mehsana:

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Road works worth Rs 150 cr put on hold

The BMC administration scrapped more than 100 roads works despite the committee's approval. Members of the committee sought an enquiry against civic officials for scrapping mandatory road works from the priority list of monsoon preparation. 13 were tabled related to road works of which 3 were rejected.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 14 December 2017 2:01 ISTMust readMy husband was sleeping, says wife of ‘molester’Crammed planes a global norm; experts say focus on etiquette<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The standing committee of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday put several road works, worth over Rs 150 crore, on hold. The committee members opposed the administration’s move of scrapping several road works without consulting the committee.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>The BMC administration scrapped more than 100 roads works despite the committee’s approval. Members of the committee sought an enquiry against civic officials for scrapping mandatory road works from the priority list of monsoon preparation. 13 were tabled related to road works of which 3 were rejected.

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Maharashtra to legalise all slums built till 2017

Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to extend the cut-off year to regularise 3.5 lakh unauthorised slums in the city to 2017 from 2011.According to senior government officials, the proposal for this was already approved by the cabinet last Sunday. “The proposal will now be tabled and approved at the ongoing state Assembly session in Nagpur. This move of regularising 3.5 lakh slums will benefit a total 18 lakh slums dwellers,” says BJP MLA Ashish Shelar.Meanwhile, state minister for Housing Ravindra Waikar feels BJP is in hurry to take the credit for the move. “We are not happy with BJP’s decision to leak this proposal to the media,” he said.”We have been working on it jointly for a long time. We are still preparing rules and regulations, and we have to also see that this move does not encourage people to create new slums. We should have surveyed the slums, then taken a phase-wise decision. We will take this up with the higher authorities.”Waikar pointed out that in 2003, the government had submitted an affidavit in the High Court that no slums should be regularised after 2005. “We have to check the details of the law before announcing such major decisions,” the Shiv Sena MLA said.Shelar feels this move will simplify slum rehabilitation projects. “Those ineligible under the redevelopment scheme create hurdles,” he explains. “Sometimes, one resident is eligible, but another from the same locality can be disqualified. Around 30 per cent of the population from a segment set for redevelopment would be disqualified. Then, these residents go to court and litigation delays the project indefinitely. By extending the cut-off date to 2017, a majority of the slum dwellers will be eligible and they will realise their dream of getting a pakka house.”Shelar also points out that this move could curb corruption that sprouts while drawing up a list of eligible slum dwellers. “The Collectorate, SRA and BMC officials demand incentives from slum dwellers to put their names on the list,” he said. “Now, there will be no corruption and a majority of the projects will be executed on time. This move will also help boost redevelopment projects such as like Dharavi. It’s a step in the right direction to realise the PM’s goal of giving everyone a home by 2022 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.”As per the government decision, slum dwellers will only have to pay construction cost in the redevelopment project. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has given a Letter of Intent (LOI) to 1531 SRA projects in the city, which will yield about 4.41 lakh new houses.Pankaj Kapoor, chairman at property research firm Liases Foras, welcomes the decision. “However, at the same time, this should not become a trend to increase slums in city and become an avenue for vote-bank politics,” he says.

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Marathas take quota plea to the Bombay High Court

Amidst the Congress party’s promise to provide reservation to Patidar s in Gujarat, the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) wants the BJP-led government in Maharashtra to give them a written timeline for providing them a quota. MKM, which had organised 58 mook morchas (silent processions) across the state to press for reservation in education and jobs, will file a petition in this regard with the Bombay High Court.MKM co-ordinator, Vinod Patil, said, “The government has been engaged in mere talk; there has been no action so far. MKM has never demanded a quota in politics; it has been pursuing reservation in the education and employment sector. Instead of taking a concrete decision, the government is playing safe and saying a decision is possible only after the Backward Classes Commission submits its report.However, we think it does not have to wait for any such report and can go ahead on its own.”Patil said that since the government is dilly-dallying, MKM will appeal to the High Court to direct the State to give a specific timeline for its decision.MKM’s move comes at a time when the State has appointed a cabinet sub-committee, chaired by revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, to look into the legal and administrative issues pertaining to the Maratha reservation and its feasibility.One BJP minister, who is a member of the cabinet sub-committee, said, “The committee’s formation took place after an MKM delegation met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on August 9, seeking an early decision on reservation.The committee has so far held two meetings, and another is slated for December 17. Fadnavis has already told MKM that the Backward Classes Commission will carry out a study and examine the feasibility of providing the quota.”The minister pointed out that during the Congress-NCP government, the Backward Classes Commission could not submit its report due to lack of a unanimous view on quota. Subsequently, the government appointed a committee chaired by former industries minister Narayan Rane, who recommended 16% quota for the Maratha community in educational institutions and jobs.Moreover, the BJP government had filed a 2,800-page affidavit in the High Court in December 2016 to legally justify the quota request, saying it did not violate constitutional provisions. The affidavit was filed in response to a Public Interest Litigation.

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Will follow my mind, Amruta Fadnavis to trolls

“I will do what exactly my mind tells me. I will not be swayed by disruptive criticism. I have a mind of my own and I will work as per that,” said Amruta Fadnavis, spouse of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday, after she was trolled on social media for promoting a Christmas-themed charity event.Trouble began when Amruta tweeted and posted photographs of a Christmas event organised by a FM radio station on December 12. She was assailed by an array of abusive posts, some of which questioned her faith before marriage.Shefali Vaidya, a columnist with the right-wing website Swarajya and RSS-mouthpiece Tarun Bharat, tweeted, “As a private individual, you are free to do what you want. As the First Lady of Maharashtra, your actions will always be open to scrutiny and criticism.”When Amruta tweeted in reply, “Love, sharing & empathy have no religion – lets accept positivity around us & stay away from negative thoughts & demotivating energies”, Vaidya amped the criticism with a caustic, “DO get your SM (Social Media) team to read all the replies to this tweet. Respect the will of the people who elected your husband rather than sounding like a writer of ‘Chicken Soup For The Evangelical Soul'”Amruta replied that she would continue to attend such charity events.”The motive behind attending the function was to give Christmas gifts to poor children,” she told this newspaper, “I was approached by this professional radio channel. During any festival, we have to do something good. We have to share happiness, whether it is Diwali, Janmashtami or any other festival.”She clarified that unlike her husband, she is not a political person. “I never mix politics with my personal interests,” she said. “I never use his (Fadnavis’) position as a tool for my work. I take my own personal decisions. They (the channel) may have called me as wife of the Chief Minister. However, as a human being, I try to bring happiness to others and hence I attended this program.”When asked whether she had discussed the incident with Fadnavis, Amruta said she had not yet done so.X’mas trollAmruta Fadnavis has attended a charity event organised by a radio station on Dec 12 Some trolls even questioned her faith before marriage

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Colaba footpath cleared for VVIP movement

Residents of Colaba have expressed happiness after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cleared footpaths on Wednesday owing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit for an official event in South Mumbai. Residents applauded civic body’s move and requested that footpaths are maintained and ensure that they are encroachment-free in the future.Parvez Cooper, Vice President, Clean Heritage Colaba Residents Association, said that the authority must implement a policy to ensure that footpaths are free from encroachments. “We cannot walk on the footpath on any given day. Senior citizens and school children are the affected the most,” said Cooper, adding that, “The footpath is cleaned only when there is VVIP movement,” he added.An official from the A-ward said that from time-to-time they remove hawkers. “The BMC has been working on the hawkers policy and soon, it will declare hawking pitches where hawkers will be allowed to do their business,” said an official from the ward. He added

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